Teenager, Police Officer Being Hailed Heroes After Jumping Into Icy Collingdale Pond To Rescue 3 Children
COLLINGDALE, Pa. (CBS) -- A teenager and a police officer are being hailed heroes after they jumped into a freezing cold pond Monday afternoon to rescue three children who fell through the Collingdale Park ice.
The children who fell through the ice are OK, lucky to be alive thanks to the brave actions of a teen and police officer who risked their own lives to save them.
"I heard some kids screaming," 16-year-old Anthony Alexander said.
Anthony, a 10th grader at Academy Park High School, was with his friends at Collingdale Park when he saw three children trapped. The trio was trying to cross an ice-covered pond when they fell in.
Anthony ran down the steep hill to help as he called 911.
"When I was down there, they were like, 'Help me, help me, help me, we're going to die, we're going to die,'" Anthony said. "And I'm like, 'you're not going to die.'"
Two girls and one boy were struggling to stay afloat in the freezing water.
Anthony first tried to use a tree limb to reach the kids.
"The kid grabbed the stick, but it was too slippery because somebody was pulling me because it was too slippery and then I just fell in," Anthony said.
He says that's when he waded into the chest-deep water to rescue two of the stranded children.
"His arm was a little close to my hand so I just pulled him out and the other girl drifted out and I pulled her out," Anthony said. "The third girl was all the way down there. I was getting ready to save her but the cop, he came up behind me and pulled me out and went and go save her."
"I could see the kids screaming, frantic, splashing in the water," Collingdale Police Sgt. Patrick Kilroy said.
Kilroy has been on the force for 18 years, but the volunteer firefighter and paramedic says he was only thinking as a parent when he jumped in to save the last child.
"It's about an 8-to-10-foot depth there where she was, so once I had no footing anymore, I just started swimming to her," Kilroy said.
Within a minute, he was able to grab the girl's arm and pull her to safety, the water piercing on contact.
"I couldn't catch my breath is when I could tell it was starting to take me over," Kilroy said.
Kilroy and Anthony were checked for hypothermia but are OK, and after a hot shower and change of clothes, they say they were simply glad to be in the right place at the right time.
"They really needed help, so I was like I got to help them," Anthony said.
"This is what I signed up for," Kilroy said.
As for the sergeant's boots, those may take a little extra time to get back on the job.
"My boots were soaking wet and so I borrowed one of my other guy's boots," Kilroy said. "I think they are a little bit big, but they will be OK. They go with the uniform."
Two other officers responding to this call were in a traffic accident on their way to the scene. They're both OK. All in all, on a day that could have ended much worse, many here are grateful.
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