5th grader pulls drowning toddler out of pond, honored for efforts by Ridge Road Fire District


GREECE, NY (WROC) — On Sunday at a family pond near Brockport, a young man saw a 4-year-old boy fall in the water. He acted quickly and thanks to that, saved the toddler’s life. Friday, he was honored for his heroic actions at Buckman Heights Elementary School in Greece by his hometown fire team: The Ridge Road Fire District.

11-year-old Brennan Elwanger was in a kayak on Sunday paddling on a family pond in Brockport. Off in the distance, he saw a 4-year-old go under. 

“I thought ‘is he drowning?’. Then I waited 5 seconds and I realized he wasn’t moving,” says Brennan.

The Ridge Road Fire District honoring Brennan at his school in Greece today. Battalion Chief Brian Gebo wanted to showcase Brennan’s actions with the other students.

“Brennan was in the right place, at the right time, and made the right decision,” says Gebo.

Gebo telling News 8 if it wasn’t for the actions of Brennan, we could be talking about a very different outcome for this story. Brennan was the only one who saw the 4-year-old in the water.

“Without Brennan’s actions, who knows? Probably a tragic outcome,” says Gebo.

His mother saying her son has a brave heart. “I’m just so surprised and shocked that he acted without fear and so quick,” says Victoria Elwanger.

His teachers, honored to host this occasion. “He will put himself before anyone else…” says Kate Dill, 5th Grade Teacher.

“It was just above and beyond anything you’d really expect,” says Mike Hennessey, 5th Grade Teacher.

When News 8 asked Brennan if he wanted to be a first responder when he grew up, he said maybe… he’s got other plans. “Well, I want to be a video game designer,” he says.

Gebo saying, hey, if he changes his mind, they’ll take him when he turns 18. “Seven years, and he can jump on in, absolutely,” he says.

To top it all off, Brennan got to ride home from school in a fire truck.  

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