Two officers with the Painesville Police Department in Ohio were honored Saturday night for their heroic rescue of a four-year-old boy who was drowning in a recreation pond.
Officers Matthew Tycast and Dan Thompson were recognized at the 16th annual Heroes for Andy event, honoring fallen Marine Andy Nowacki, WJW reported.
Their rescue happened in June after a relative of the boy, who was watching him while his parents worked, reported the child missing, WEWS-TV noted. Another call soon came in regarding a body in the recreation pond.
Once on scene, Tycast and Thompson did not immediately see the child.
Thompson, and Tycast, who cannot swim, rushed into the pond and saved the four-year-old. After extracting him from the water, they conducted CPR until Tycast noticed the child was breathing, according to WEWS-TV.
“There was no hesitation,” Tycast told WJW. “No time to react, no time to think. You see what you have to do and you go do it.”
The child has since fully recovered, but he likely would have become brain dead had another 15 seconds expired, paramedics said, according to the outlet.
The officers were two of three heroes set to be recognized during the Heroes for Andy event at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights Saturday night, the News-Herald reported. The event is in honor of Andy Nowacki, a Marine and police officer who was killed “while protecting a convoy during Operation Iraqi Freedom” in February 2005, the Andy Nowacki Foundation’s website states.
“Most people are not aware that first responders and military, their main purpose is to protect people and make people safe,” Andy’s mother, Sheila Nowacki, told WJW.
The Andy Nowacki Foundation provides “meaningful scholarships to those seeking to who serve their communities as peace officers, firefighters, EMTs, or nurses,” according to the foundation’s website.
“Scholarship recipients are chosen based on a combination of community involvement, dedication to service, grade point average and strong moral character,” the foundation notes.
Sheila told WJW that granting scholarships to those who share Andy’s level of care and empathy for the community is among the best ways to honor her son’s legacy. Six individuals were set to receive scholarships Saturday night, the News-Herald noted.
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