Norris Boland Starr helped to save Herman E. Threet and his son, Stanley D., from suffocation, Cisco, Texas, May 14, 1962. Stanley, 11, lost consciousness while 15 feet below ground level at the bottom of a cistern 11 feet in diameter into which butane gas had seeped. Through a two-foot opening in the top, Threet, 38, farmer, descended to Stanley on a rope secured to an overhead pulley, taking with him one end of another rope tied to the top of the cistern. He wrapped the rope around Stanley and then fell inert across him. Threet’s wife saw the situation and summoned Norris, 16, schoolboy, and two men from a neighboring farm. Norris slid down one of the ropes, noting a shortage of oxygen as he descended, and moved Threet from atop Stanley. As he attempted to untangle the rope from around Stanley, Norris began to lose his sense of balance because of insufficient oxygen but continued his rescue efforts. He then took hold of another rope which the men had lowered and placed it under Threet’s belt. Beginning to lose consciousness, Norris attempted to climb the pulley rope but fell inert to the bottom. Firemen and others arrived. Oxygen was pumped into the cistern, and Threet revived sufficiently to secure ropes around Stanley, Norris, and himself. All were drawn out of the cistern, hospitalized for shock and lung congestion, and recovered.
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