Former paramedic rescues boy, 11, from icy Mich. pond

Former Detroit Paramedic Michael Hood used the rescue as an opportunity to remind parents to teach their kids about the dangers of icy water

Samuel Dodge, Walker, Mich.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michael Hood takes his border collies, Big Jake and Little Boo, for walks in West Park every day.

His late Monday afternoon stroll turned into a daring rescue, he said.

Hood heard yells and screams from the far end of the park, he said. After tracking down the noise, he said he was looking at an 11-year-old boy neck deep in an icy pond and unable to get himself out.

The “training kicked in” for the former Detroit paramedic, as Hood said he was able to save the boy before emergency responders arrived on Feb. 24.

“His head was just sticking out of the water,” Hood said. “The rest of him was in the ice ... I just dropped what I was doing and ran over ... He was pretty scared and cold, so I made the decision to jump in there after him.”

The expected survival time in freezing water is 15 to 45 minutes, according to the American Search and Rescue Task Force.

“If he had been in there for 10 more minutes, the consequences could have been far more dire,” Hood said.

Once Hood, got the boy out of the pond, he sent Big Jake and Little Boo to warm him up, he said.

“They do whatever I tell them,” said Hood, who’s also an executive director of Crossing Water, a non-profit started in response to the Flint water crisis. “They never have a leash or collar on. They’re just good damn dogs.”

Hood was walking Monday with a friend, who phoned for emergency response. The Ann Arbor Fire Department responded to the call of two people in icy water at 4:12 p.m., said Chief Mike Kennedy. Crews arrived on scene to find “everyone out of the water, safe and warming up,” he said.

Investigators confirmed that Hood rescued the 11-year-old from the water and kept him warm until police and rescuers arrived, said Sgt. Bill Clock of the Ann Arbor Police Department.

The parents could not be reached for comment. Clock said child protective services was not contacted, and that this incident was just a “Good Samaritan doing a good deed."

Hood wants to make one thing clear: It’s not the boy’s parents’ fault that this happened.

“Kids play outdoors all the time, and they should be allowed to," he said. “Kids can find themselves in very deadly circumstances, but as a parent, we can’t always protect our kids from everything.”

Hood, who also works as a wilderness survival instructor, does want this story to be a warning for parents to tell their kids to take precaution near icy water, he said.

“Kids, especially young ones, aren’t equipped to make the judgement calls required to know if ice is safe or not,” Hood said. “What was a serious water rescue could have ended up as a body recovery. Please teach your kids to stay off the ice.”


©2020, Walker, Mich.


BAD ICE - WARNING - GRAPHIC DEPICTION - Not your average day at the park... A very sweet but terrified 11 yr old boy...

Posted by Michael Hood on Monday, February 24, 2020
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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