NEW JASPER TWP., Ohio (WDTN) – The Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the New Jasper Township Fire Department in New Jasper Township, Ohio, were both crucial in making sure two boys were rescued from a frozen lake on Dec. 23.
The life-saving efforts wouldn’t be possible without teamwork from both agencies.
Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Terell was one of the first to arrive.
“The fire department did most of (the work). But the second child, once they got the throw rope to him, I helped pull him in,” Terrell said.
He and fellow deputy Richard Elliott said this was one of their most nerve-wracking calls to date.
“They can’t stay in there for too long. Your muscles start to cramp. You’re scared. I was scared,” Elliott said.
It’s unknown how long the boys were in the water.
Chief Doug McDaniels with the New Jasper Township Fire Department said, his rescue crews knew the clock was working against them.
“They want to get there, get them rescued as quick as they can, get them out of the water, get all of their wet clothes off, get them warm and dry and to the hospital,” McDaniels said.
The chief said in this 28 years with the department this is only the second frozen water rescue they’ve responded to. Even with the rarity of these events, he said his department does annual winter training.
Both departments applaud bystanders who called for help.
“They really encouraged them to stay above the water and to keep fighting until we got there,” McDaniels said.
The chief says the boys were pulled out within 10 minutes of their arrival just before hypothermia could set in.
“God was on our side to save their lives,” the Chief said.