Enfield Firefighters to Meet Man They Rescued From Frigid Connecticut River After Canoe Capsized

Enfield Fire Rescue
District 1
Chief Edward N. Richards
200 Phoenix Ave.,Enfield, CT 06082

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 8, 2019

Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone: 781-428-3299
Email: [email protected]

Enfield Firefighters to Meet Man They Rescued From Frigid Connecticut River After Canoe Capsized

ENFIELD, Connecticut — Fire Chief Edward Richards is pleased to announce that two firefighters who rescued a man after his canoe capsized in the Connecticut River will meet the man at the Enfield Fire Station for the first time since his rescue next week.

The firefighters will be presented with letters of commendation from the chief to recognize them for their efforts.

WHEN:

Monday, March 11, at 3 p.m.

WHERE:

Enfield Fire District 1 Station 1, 200 Phoenix Ave.

WHO:

  • Enfield Fire Lt. Edward Shirley and Captain Donald Ellis
  • Enfield resident John Caldwell, the man who was rescued

WHAT:

On Monday, Enfield Fire Lt. Edward Shirley and Captain Donald Ellis will meet the man they rescued last week after his canoe capsized in the Connecticut River.

At approximately 10 a.m. Sunday, March 3, John Caldwell, of Enfield, was in a canoe by himself when it capsized between the Parsons Road boat launch and Kings Island.

Caldwell swam through the frigid water to a small island near Kings Island and was unable to recover his canoe. A witness called 911 and members of the Enfield Fire Department responded.

Lt. Shirley and Captain Ellis arrived at the scene a short time later with the department’s hovercraft and drove the amphibious vehicle across the water to Caldwell.

Caldwell was brought aboard the hovercraft and was taken safely back to shore.

While, according to the National Weather Service, the high temperature for last Sunday was 43 degrees in Enfield, the water temperature was much colder.

Caldwell was treated by paramedics on-scene and was then taken by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford due to exposure to the cold temperatures in the water. He was later released.

“Given that he was not wearing a life jacket, this man was fortunate to have been able to swim over to the island he ended up on and thankfully a witness saw what happened and called 911,” Chief Richards said. “I would like to commend our firefighters who quickly sprang into action to make sure he safely got back to shore and remind everyone who is out on a water craft to please wear your life jackets and utilize proper safety protocols.”

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