Firefighter rescues two sisters from Yellowstone River

Justin Lowell Hanley, 43, a wild land firefighter from Miles City, Mont., saved sisters Chava L. and Shoshana L. Berry from drowning in the Yellowstone River at Miles City on Aug. 4, 2013.  Chava, 14, and Shoshana, 10, were wading along the bank of the river when the current pulled them into deeper water and carried them downstream.  Hanley responded to the river and ran several hundred feet along the bank to a point just beyond the girls.  He entered the water, and the strong channel current pulled on him, but he reached the girls at a point about 250 feet from the bank.  He held Chava, who was inert, with one arm and then grasped Shoshana with that hand.  Using his free arm, Hanley stroked back toward the bank, the current continuing to take them downstream.  Fatigued and suffering abrasions, Hanley reached the bank with the girls at a point about 700 feet downstream from where he entered the river.  The sisters presented Hanley with his Carnegie Medal at a ceremony in Miles City on December 13, 2014.