Four employees of Mitchell’s Fish Huts have been recognized for their efforts to rescue a man on Lake Simcoe earlier this year.
Brad Garringer, Eric Hall, Kyle Howe and Darion Howe received certificates from MP Jamie Schmale and MPP Laurie Scott on Saturday (April 7) afternoon.
Back in late February, as they ventured out to check on a trout line, the quartet noticed a lone ATV rider hit a lagoon on the ice – a pocket of water on top of the ice that had accumulated from rainfall and the spring melt.
While it’s not an unusual occurrence, the group decided to check on the man on their way back to shore. That decision almost certainly saved a life.
They found the man partially submerged and struggling to stay afloat after spending between 10 and 15 minutes in the frigid water.
Hall waded into the water to help pull the man to safety, then ushered him to shore to a waiting ambulance.
As three of the men accepted the certificates on Saturday (Darion Howe was unable to attend) at the Beaverton firehall, Garringer said it was all about being “at the right place at the right time.”
“In the same situation, anyone would have done the same thing,” he said.
A group of Beaverton firefighters recommended that the group be recognized for their efforts and many were on hand for the presentation.
“The volunteer firefighters contacted me and asked if there was anything we could do to recognize these guys,” said Ward 2 Councillor Cyndi Schaffer.
“These are regular, everyday people that saw something and acted on it. Without their quick thinking, who knows what would have happened? It might have had a much different outcome.”
She contacted Schmale and Scott, both of whom were more than happy to prepare certificates for the group.
“Having the foresight to go check on someone shows how much you care. Putting yourselves at risk for another human being is something to be proud of,” Schmale said.
While the quartet from Mitchell’s are content to play the role of reluctant heroes, they do urge that residents take caution on the ice.
Coun. Schaffer echoed that sentiment, saying that it never hurts to ask for advice prior to hitting the lake.
“The operators and outfitters know the lake better than anyone,” Coun. Schaffer said.