Coast Guard awards lifesaving medals to Oswego, NY, fire chief and police sergeant

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsBUFFALO, N.Y. — The U.S. Coast Guard formally recognized two Oswego, N.Y., public servants at Coast Guard Station Oswego Wednesday for pulling two fishermen out of the Oswego River in 2010.

During the recognition ceremony, Rear Adm. Michael Parks, commander of the 9th Coast Guard District, presented Oswego Fire Chief Jeffrey McCrobie and Oswego Police Sergeant Damian Waters with the Coast Guard Silver Lifesaving Medal.

Unusually heavy rains forced twice the normal volume of water through a hydroelectric station, causing the water level to rise several feet in just minutes on Sept. 28, 2010. McCrobie and Waters received an emergency report from the Oswego County 911 Center of two fishermen in distress floating down the Oswego River.

They immediately searched the river from shore where the fishermen were last seen. Upon witnessing the victims being swept downriver, both men leapt over a tall railing into the raging Oswego River with no cold water protective clothing or tending line attached. After pulling the unconscious fishermen from the swollen river, McCrobie and Waters administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid until Oswego Fire and Rescue arrived on scene.

“We’re honored to recognize these heroes in our midst,” said Capt. Steven Wischmann, commander of Coast Guard Sector Buffalo. “Chief McCrobie and Sgt. Waters exemplify the very best of what first responders do.”

The Silver Lifesaving Medal, as well as the higher Gold Lifesaving Medal, may be awarded to any person who rescues, or attempts to rescue, another person from drowning, shipwreck, or other peril of the water.

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