William J. Neil helped to save N. Bruce Todd from suffocation, Odessa, Ontario, August 12, 1961. Bruce, 14, schoolboy, and another youth descended a ladder to the bottom of a cistern 22 feet deep and tied one end of a rope to a gasoline pump, which had been in operation for 45 minutes and had removed all but six inches of water and sludge from the cistern. With the man in charge of the work pulling on the rope from outside, Bruce and the other youth hoisted the pump onto a landing eight feet below the top. Carbon monoxide fumes, which had accumulated in the cistern, then began to affect them. The man helped the other youth from the cistern and told Bruce, who was on the ladder 10 feet below the top, to come out at once. Bruce started to do so but lost consciousness and fell to the bottom. The man descended the ladder and started to remove Bruce but began to feel dizzy. He laid Bruce on the bottom with his face out of the water, climbed out, and summoned Neil, 25, garage attendant, and another man, Harold Reginald Wilson. They ran 600 feet to the cistern and, breathing heavily, descended the ladder to the bottom, Wilson pausing part way down to remove the rope from the pump. They lifted Bruce to an almost erect position and tied the rope about his body. Neil then began to feel dizzy and started up the ladder, but he was able to keep pulling on the rope as Wilson pushed Bruce upward from below. Neil climbed out and continued pulling on the rope. Wilson then also began to feel weak and dizzy but with effort pushed Bruce upward until he was drawn from the cistern. Wilson then climbed out. Bruce was revived and hospitalized for two days. All recovered.
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