GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A firefighter was awarded for saving a child's life while he was off-duty.
What started out as a family fishing trip for Erik Noel ended in a heroic event. On January 19, Noel, his family and neighbors were fishing at a pond in the Grand Strand when he noticed his neighbor's four-year-old child fall into the pond and go under the water.
According to officials, the depth of the body of water is approximately 12 feet deep. Noel said he jumped in and grabbed the child and held him up so that his wife could get him. The water was cold and Noel found that he could barely swim himself.
Firefighter Brett Sparks was at the scene to help firefighter Noel get out of the water.
Midway Fire Rescue stated, "the quick actions by Firefighter Noel and the assistance from Firefighter Sparks most definitely saved this child's life. The water in January is very cold and had Noel hesitated this outcome may have been very different."
On February 26, Noel was awarded the Meritorious Action Award by Georgetown County Administrator Sel Hemingway.