KISSIMMEE, Fla., July 13, 2017 – The American Red Cross has awarded its prestigious Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action to Kissimmee Utility Authority apprentice lineman Brendan Laflamme for his recent rescue of a child from Kissimmee’s Lake Tohopekaliga.
Sherri Monroe, executive director of American Red Cross of Greater Orlando, made the presentation during Wednesday’s meeting of the utility board of directors where Brendan was being honored as the utility’s July employee of the month.
On May 13, Brendan was off duty participating in the 2017 Toho Big Fish Blast fishing tournament on Lake Tohopekaliga, an annual competition hosted by the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce. The tournament featured hourly weigh-ins which required participating fishermen to return each hour to the marina to weigh any fish that had been caught on the lake during that hour.
Brendan had arrived back at the marina for one of the weigh-ins when he witnessed a young boy fall 10 feet from the concrete sea wall into the lake below. Without hesitation, Brendan jumped fully clothed from an adjacent dock into the lake and quickly swam to the boy, grabbed him and swam him back to the dock. The boy was visibly shaken, but did not suffer any injuries in the fall. The boy was hoisted up to the dock to his grateful father.
“Brendan’s actions exemplify what we stand for and who we strive to be at KUA,” said utility president and general manager Jim Welsh. “We all are incredibly proud of him for his heroic efforts.”
The Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action is awarded by the American Red Cross to individuals who save or sustain a life by action that exemplifies its mission of preparedness, health and safety.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 72,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.