A man sees a 75-year-old man stuck on railroad tracks and pulls him to safety. An off-duty emergency worker pulls a woman from a van after it crashes into an icy pond. An NBA star saves a woman from drowning.
These are examples of everyday people who, when confronted with a life-or-death situation, jumped in to do what they could — and became rescuers and heroes.
Read the CNN collection of heroic acts from 2009.