Beckley firefighter rescues teenage boy from drowning - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Beckley firefighter rescues teenage boy from drowning


BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) A program to help seniors and those with disabilities led to a dramatic rescue on Sunday. 

The program called 'Project Lifesaver' is bracelet tracking program operated by the Beckley Fire Dept.

Firefighters were alerted Sunday morning that one of the program's participants, a 17-year-old male with autism, had left his home near Fitzpatrick Park in Macarthur right outside of Beckley. Firefighter Lt. Brian Williams was then dispatched to the call, where he found the boy in the lake at Fitzpatrick Park.

When the teen saw the firefighter, Lt. Williams said he waded into water over his head and started to drown in the freezing water. To reach the teen, Lt. Williams had to scale a nearby bridge with a train sitting on top. He said he was able to help the boy step to a higher location where he was able to reach the young man and put his warm clothes on him as they waited for help to arrive. 

Due to the train sitting on top of the bridge with its operator gone, firefighters had to pull the boy out under the train more than 200 yards to reach safe ground. Firefighters Chris Lanna, Bo Cook, and Ed Wills helped to recover the teen. 

Both the teen and Lt. Williams were transported to a nearby hospital. The teen was treated for hypothermia and has since been released. Lt. Williams was treated for frostbite and has also been released. 

JanCare Ambulance, West Virginia State Police, and the Raleigh County Sheriff's Dept. assisted in the recovery effort. 


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