At the August 13 City Council Meeting, Firefighters Charlie Ruggles and Kevin Bower were presented with the Award for Heroism from the Ohio State Fire Marshal.
The award was given for their actions “on May 6th of this year, when personnel were dispatched to a mutual aid call for a vehicle submerged in water in a marina. The two firefighters responded in an ambulance while other personnel responded to headquarters and prepared for dive operations. Upon their arrival, they were alerted by a bystander standing on the roof of the vehicle that the driver was still inside.
Both Ruggles and Bower donned cold water exposure suits, utilized a small SCUBA bottle and entered the water. After swimming to the vehicle and locating the door, both used the air bottle to dive down and attempt to open the jammed door. Once air ran out, they alternated holding their breath under water, eventually extricating the victim and delivering him to waiting EMS personnel.
While the victim did not survive this tragic incident, the quick and heroic actions of Firefighters Ruggles and Bower are commendable.”