How to save a life – Richard Fisher’s story

Emily Smith - 10, Editor

     While the year 2020 will go down in the history books for most people, many of which for the same reasons, Richard Fisher’s will be remembered a little differently. What could be more drastic than a global pandemic, political standoffs, and racial injustices? Perhaps saving the life of a loved one. 

     In the summer of 2020, Richard Fisher and his family were canoeing and kayaking on what seemed like a regular, summer day. Surprisingly, though, this day would not seem as ordinary as he had expected it to be, as saving a life is rather spontaneous. The kayak that his mother was in hit some rocks due to the rough waters, causing her leg to get wedged between the rocks. Richard was compelled to act right away, which left little time for him to consider the danger that this event posed. “The first thing I did was make sure my sisters were beached and safe off the river. Next I looked to the railroad I saw earlier to run upriver faster.” Richard’s quick thinking did not stop there. After he made sure of other’s safety, he went to work trying to reach his mother. “I jumped in the river ahead of my mom and slowly walked down in order to not get stuck in the current and walked my mom to safety.” Thanks to her son’s bravery her injuries consisted only of bruising.

     Fisher is genuinely proud of himself for saving a life under such tense and demanding circumstances. He advises anyone who may be put into a situation similar to this is to “stop thinking and start acting,” but warns that a person must be prepared in order to dive into something as threatening as this experience. Thankfully, the river that he and his family were traveling across had been shut down a few days later due to the danger of the rough water. Being focused and of a calm mind was truly a life-saver for this Boy Scout. 

     The National Heroism Award is one of three life saving awards presented by the Boy Scouts of America, the others being the Honor Medal and the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms. The requirements for the Heroism Award are saving or attempting to save a life with minimal personal risk, which Richard executed exceptionally well for his age. Fisher’s accomplishment was awarded at the Frontier District Roundtable where he had a court of honor. Be sure to congratulate this courageous Freshman the next time you see him. 

     For more information on the National Heroism Award, please visit: