Police Chief Timothy Hanlon and members of the Whitman Police Department, along with Fire Chief Timothy Grenno, honored three Whitman boys at the police station Tuesday, June 16 for their actions that led to rescuing a man from Hobart Pond.
On Saturday, June 6, the boys, Eugene Hamilton, 13, Conal Morris, 12 and Neil French, 14 were in the area of the pond when they heard a loud splash in the water.
They quickly investigated, and upon seeing a man face-down in the water, they immediately took action.
“We were there within seconds of hearing the splash and knew we had to act quickly,” Hamilton said. "There was no one else around."
While Hamilton and French called 911, Morris approached the water.
“I was in shock and really freaked out and scared at first, but then I thought to myself, ‘I can stop this. I can help him survive,’” Morris said. “I jumped into the water and held him up as long as I could until the cops arrived.”
Dispatchers from the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center told the boys to remain calm and provided medical instructions. They told the boys to turn the man onto his back and check if he was breathing.
Once Whitman Police and Fire arrived on scene the boys remained to assist officers and relay important information to 911 dispatchers.
For their quick thinking and sound judgement, Chief Hanlon presented each of the boys with a framed “Lifesaving Award” Tuesday on behalf of the Whitman Police and Fire Departments. The award read:
“In recognition of the immediate action taken on June 6, 2020 to summon assistance as well as perform life saving measures that resulted in the successful rescue of a man in the water at Hobart Pond.”
Sgt. Patrick Burtt-Henderson, who was one of the officers to first arrive on scene, said the boys’ actions undoubtedly saved the man’s life.
“What they did was really outstanding, and was a testament to them and a testament to their parents,” Sgt. Burtt-Henderson said. “It’s not everyday you see boys their age do something like this in that type of situation."
Whitman Police and Fire responded to the 911 call at approximately 3:45 p.m. Upon seeing the man in the water, Sgt. Burtt-Henderson and Patrolman Robert Hoey rolled the man onto his side to clear his airway. The man was then stabilized, with the assistance of Officer Chris Lee and Sgt. David Gregory.
Whitman Firefighters donned survival suits and extracted the man from the water with assistance from Officer Lee. The man was placed in a Whitman ambulance and
transported to a nearby hospital.
The individual, a 63-year-old from Whitman, was alert and talking during transport.