Stanton Thompson helped to save Gregory Kueck and Cameron W. Holsten from drowning, Concordia, Missouri, September 13, 1998. While wading in a drainage system containing runoff from heavy rain, Gregory and Cameron, both 10, were swept into a storm sewer. They were carried by the swift current about 60 feet, or to where they clung to metal reinforcement bars in the sewer’s concrete walls. They called for help. Thompson, 49, government agency executive director, was alerted and responded from nearby. He entered the open basin at the mouth of the sewer, from where he could see the boys. Firefighters arrived and entered the basin with life jackets and lines. Thompson donned a life jacket, then stepped into the sewer by passing through a grate at its mouth. The floor of the sewer was lower than that of the basin, and Thompson lost his footing in the boil caused by water dropping into the sewer. Regaining his footing in the rushing, waist-deep water, Thompson waded to the boys. Firefighters floated tethered life jackets into the sewer, and Thompson attached one of the lines to his own life jacket, then put a tethered life jacket on Gregory. With Gregory clinging to him, Thompson moved against the current to the mouth of the sewer as firefighters pulled on the lines attached to their life jackets. Firefighters then pulled Gregory out of the sewer. Thompson waded back to Cameron, who also wore a tethered life jacket, then took him to the grate, firefighters again pulling on their lines. After Cameron was pulled from the sewer, Thompson paused to regain his strength. He then struggled against the boil to the grate, firefighters pulling on him. Once free of the sewer, Thompson left the basin for ground level. Requiring hospital treatment, Gregory suffered hypothermia, and he recovered. Cameron and Thompson were cold, but they too recovered.
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