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Several firefighters recognized after helping rescue injured and lost kayaker



Union Fire District Captain Tyler Parks, left, and Firefighter Luke Meyers kayaking in the Chipuxet River on Aug. 28 searching for a lost kayaker (Photo courtesy of Union Fire District)

Fire Chief Steven Pinch has announced that several members of the Union Fire District were honored by the South Kingstown Police Department earlier this month for their part in helping to locate and rescue a lost kayaker in the Chipuxet River over the summer.

On December 1, the South Kingstown Police Department held their 2022 Awards & Recognition Ceremony.

Several UFD members were recognized during the ceremony and received a Certificate of Recognition including:

Jacob Paranto
Pat Young
Zach Hupf
Chris McGrath
Greg Bergentini
Christina Bergentini
Dan Northup
Karissa Northup
Stephen Litch
Tyler Parks
Andrew Duckworth
Dan Kiely
Luke Meyer
Jacob Woods
Warden Mark Nelson
Grant Lyskawa
Jeff Lambert
Carl Critz

On August 28th, at approximately 7:35 p.m., the South Kingstown Police Department received a 911 call from a distraught 17-year-old kayaker who said she was in the Chipuxet River and was lost and possibly had a broken leg.

Several first responders, including members of the Union Fire District, responded to the area to search for the girl.

After about two hours, an Environmental Police Officer from the Department of Environmental Management located the girl using a drone.

Using kayaks, Captain Tyler Parks and Firefighter Luke Meyers located the girl in her kayak on the river and were able to safely escort her back to shore where she received medical care.

“We’d like to thank Chief Matthew Moynihan and the South Kingstown Police Department for recognizing our firefighters, who helped to safely locate this young woman over the summer. It was truly a team effort with several agencies involved in the search,” Chief Pinch said. “Our volunteer firefighters don’t find themselves in rescue situations out on the river very frequently, but they were well-trained and well-equipped to respond to this situation effectively and I’m proud of their work.”

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