FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Fort Wayne firefighters were honored by Mayor Tom Henry for their role in saving a boy from drowning at Colony Bay Apartments.
On Dec. 24, 2019, Private Andrew Knox and the Fort Wayne Fire Department Station 17 crew responded to a call saying a boy around 10-years-old had ridden his bike onto the ice and fell through.
Knox said Colony Bay Apartments was close enough to the station that they were able to be on the scene within two minutes.
“There were two ponds at that apartment building,” Knox said.” The first pond we came to we couldn't find anything, so we had to hustle back to the second pond.”
There at the second pond, Knox said the driver of the Station 17 fire truck saw a head bobbing up and down about 40 feet from the shore of the pond.
“Somebody was able to throw a rope out to the kid but he was too tired and too cold to even try and grab it,” Knox said.
Knox suited up in the Mustang suit for water rescues and began breaking the ice on top of the pond until he was able to reach and secure the boy.
“He was dog tired and cold to the bone,” Knox said. “I don't think he would have been able to tread water much longer before we got out there.”
The Station 17 crew then helped Knox transport the boy into an ambulance where he was treated before being taken to a nearby hospital.
Fire Chief Eric Lahey credits thousands of training hours throughout the year that allows Fort Wayne firefighters to respond appropriately when lives are in danger.
“They will treat that run like any other run,” Lahey said. “Be the professionals that they have been trained to be and carry out that mission of saving lives.”
Along with Knox, seven other members of the Station 17 crew were honored today for their roles in saving the boy.
“They all had jobs and were all doing something to help,” Knox said. “It was in no way me saving the kid by myself. It was definitely a team effort.”
Proud to present Fort Wayne firefighter Andrew Knox and his crew from Station 17 with the Firefighter Unit Commendation Award for rescuing a young child from drowning on Christmas Eve. pic.twitter.com/XMf59bQfNp
— Mayor Tom Henry (@MayorTomHenry) February 25, 2020