FORT WAYNE, In (WOWO): Fort Wayne Firefighters were called for a water rescue on Christmas Eve Day after a child broke through thin ice on a Bayside Court Pond.
According to Chief Eric Lahey, the child had ridden his bicycle onto the ice and broke through. When Engine Company 17 arrived, they had two firefighters geared up in specialized suits for a cold water rescue. They found the boy with his head above water, but he was too weakened from hypothermia to grab a lifeline.
Firefighter Andrew Knox broke through the ice and continued to break through the ice until he reached the boy, who had slipped beneath the surface of the pond. His engine company then pulled Knox and the boy to the shore where Knox carried him to Paramedics that had responded.
Medics, in checking the boy’s core temperature said that he was literally minutes away from dying as a result of a cold-water drowning. Andrew Knox and Engine Company 17 were honored for the rescue – which allowed the boy to have Christmas with his family.
Chief Lahey remarked that it is situation like this, among others, that drive the Fire Department to invest more than 100-thousand hours annually in training, and to make sure that the right equipment is budgeted for every year. Without both investments, lifesaving operations like this one would not be possible.
Mayor Tom Henry praised the Knox as well as Engine Company 17 for their commitment and fast response in saving the boy’s life.