by Elizabeth Hur
CHESTER, Pa., (CBS) – Heroes in action – First responders save the life of a man struggling in a Delaware County creek.
Ethel Waters Park in Chester was the scene and Eyewitness News spoke to the rescuers about a very close call.
In an emergency, first responders call it their job to give their all to help others. In this case, Chester firefighters say team work saved the life of a 48-year-old man.
Battalion Chief Charles Hopkins explained, “The call came in as a drowning, so we were in recovery mode.”
Hopkins says initially the victim was floating, face down but then all of a sudden, the victim started moving and started gasping for air. That’s when their adrenaline kicked in, rescuers say, and their work began.
So firefighters James Krapf and Kevin Crews dropped their forty-pound gear, threw on life vests, hopped a fence and dove right in.
Crews explained, “Krapf jumps right in the water and by the time I got mine snapped, he got his hand above water.”
Krapf added, “I could see his hand floating up, I grabbed his arm, as I grabbed his arm and pulled him up.”
Crews said they were using ropes to stay tethered to the ground, “I give him one end, tell him to put it on, I grab the other end.”
Krapf explained fellow firefighters then lowered a ladder to get everyone out, “They basically hooked that onto the fence and dropped it into the water.”
Using the ladder, life saving ropes and the expertise of certified lifeguard, Crews, who just happened to join the department two weeks ago, they accomplished their goal. But again, they stress, it was teamwork.
Crews said, “Everybody, the whole team is heroes.”
Krapf added, “Chester police were there helping, medics were there.”
Hopkins concluded, “It was amazing because they all worked together as one team.”
It happened late Sunday night and officials say it is unclear how the victim ended up in the water.
As of Monday night, the victim, whose name was not released, remained hospitalized. But we are told, he was alert, awake and thanked Hopkins and his men for saving his life.