Loomis J. Labrecque saved Jean-Paul A. Bolduc from drowning, Hartford, Connecticut, February 7, 1962. When Jean-Paul, 8, ventured to the edge of an ice shelf extending 12 feet from the bank of Park River, the ice broke under him and he was submerged briefly. Unable to swim, he flailed wildly and called for help. Labrecque, 28, electric truck operator, was attracted, ran 175 feet to the river, and then proceeded cautiously to the edge of the ice. Although he was a poor swimmer and had not swum for two years, he removed only his jacket and jumped into the cold water, which took his breath away momentarily. In water to his chest, Labrecque started to wade toward Jean-Paul but stepped into water eight feet deep. He was submerged and then surfaced gasping for air. Five feet from the ice and 17 feet from the bank, Labrecque reached Jean-Paul and took hold of him after warning him not to struggle. Jean-Paul lost consciousness as Labrecque towed him seven feet diagonally across the current to the ice shelf. On his second attempt Labrecque lifted Jean-Paul onto the ice and then pushed him six feet on it. A man and a woman took Jean-Paul the rest of the way to the bank, where he was revived. Shivering and trembling in an air temperature of 20 degrees, Labrecque climbed onto the ice and made his way to the bank.
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Loomis LaBrecque, 64, of Manchester, Conn., died on Feb. 12, 1998, at a local convalescent home. He was born in Castle, Maine.
He worked as a carpenter for many years, including with the former Morin Contractors in East Hartford, Conn. LaBrecque was awarded a medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission in 1964 for his act of bravery two years earlier in saving the life of 8-year-old Jean-Paul Bolduc from the icy waters of the Park River in Hartford, Conn.
(Edited from an obituary in the Hartford Courant, Feb. 19, 1998.)