Little Rock Firefighter Jeremy Barber, Capt. Tony Springer and Acting Engineer Jacob Lear-Sadowsky


For three Arkansas firefighters that would have been at 9:53 p.m. Oct. 29.

For their actions that night, Firehouse Magazine has chosen them as recipients for the 2009 Heroism & Community Service Awards.

Watch KARK-TV Video of the Rescue

Barber, Capt. Tony Springer and Acting Engineer Jacob Lear-Sadowsky were in the an area for another call for a possible water rescue when they saw people attempting to tie a rope to a car that was being swept away by rushing water.

The SUV was floating away into deeper water as the crew donned their gear and life jackets, Barber said.

Lear-Sadowsky managed to break the passenger side rear window, and rescue a 10-year-old boy. Barber swam with the boy to safety, handing him over to Springer and civilians.

The swift current continued to pull the vehicle away while the rescue was underway.

Barber said he then swam back to the vehicle to assist in the rescue of a woman. Using a Denver tool, they managed to gain access to her.

"They both had their faces up against the roof to breathe," he said.

Barber said once they all reached shore, the reality of what they'd done started to set in. "It felt good."

A few days of heavy rain in the area left the ground saturated, and caused flooding in low-lying areas.

The department's swift water rescue team had been located to a more centralized area that night.

Barber said it was fortunate for the woman and her son that they were in the area. He doesn't want to think about what would have happened had they not been there.

A television crew filming weather-related stories that night caught the rescue live.

Deputy Chief Doug Coney was in the command post that night monitoring the flooding with other city officials when the rescue came up on television. "It was really interesting watching them. I was worried for everyone. But, I was proud too."