Page 3 - NOV2022
P. 3

 November 2022 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM Page 3 Community
13-year-old Recognized by New Hampton and Local First Responders for Saving a Young Girl’s Life
 By Donna RhoDes
Dennis Dantas was in the right place at the right time on Sept. 3 when he and his family were on vacation at Adventure Bound Campground on the New Hampton/Ashland town line, and he spotted a young girl lying on the bottom of the pool. Re- acting immediately, he used his swim lesson skills to dive down, pick her up then yell for help when he surfaced with her limp in his arms.
As recounted at a special awards ceremony at the New Hampton Life Safety Complex last Saturday afternoon, Town Administrator Neil Irvine said, “Fortunately, there were two nurses and an off-duty firefighter also there, and they started CPR until medical personnel from both New Hampton and Ash- land arrived on the scene.”
The victim was swiftly trans- ferred by ambulance to Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth, where she was able to recover from her harrowing close call, all thanks to then-12-year-old Den- nis’s quick reaction.
“The drowning victim, an 8-year-old girl, was transported to the hospital and has survived this horrible accident thanks to Dennis’ quick-thinking, selfless and heroic actions,” said Irvine. “In recognition of outstanding bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of imminent danger, your selfless act of rescuing a young drowning victim, placing your own safety in jeopardy to save another person’s life, is to be recognized and commended,” Irving said.
Dennis, who has since turned 13, was treated to a hero’s wel- come when he and his family drove up from their home in Bev- erly, Mass., for the awards pre- sentation. The family was met at a local Park and Ride, where he was invited to climb aboard a fire engine for a full-blown lights and sirens transport to the station. Once there, members of Ash- land and New Hampton fire/ rescue crews, the New Hampton Police Department, and even their families were waiting to sa-
Photo by Donna Rhodes After receiving awards last month from the Town of New Hampton for saving a young girl from drowning,
13-year-old Dennis Dantas and his family posed for a photo with Town Administrator Neil Irvine, members of the New Hampton Police and Fire Departments as well as the Ashland Fire Department.
“You can make a difference in someone else’s life. You are not alone, and adults can hear your voice,” said Dennis. “Watch out for your friends, for your family. Watch out for others than your- selves. Together we are stronger.”
Throughout the brief cere- mony, which was followed by a reception inside the station, his father, Ivanio Silva, younger sib- lings Julia and Arthur, and mom Djenane Oliverio were all beam- ing with pride.
“We are so grateful to be here today and part of this celebra- tion of life because that is what it is, a celebration of life,” said Djenane.
Mom also said that as she raises her children, she strives to teach them and other youth not to be selfish but to instead care and look out for others around them.
“This shows that good actions can have a good reaction. We are very proud of our son and can’t express how grateful we are for the response of everyone, which shows just how much every min- ute counts,” she said.
 lute the young man.
As he was called to join Irvine
in front of a New Hampton am- bulance, Irvine told him, “I am honored to present you with the ‘Making a Difference Life Sav- ing Award on behalf of the New Hampton Fire and Emergency Medical Services and the ‘Hero- ism Award’ and ‘Life Saved’ pin on behalf of Concord Hospital Emergency Medical Services.”
Recognizing that awards at Dennis’ age can be equivalent to receiving socks for Christmas, Ir-
ving then told him that the town and its first responders also had a special gift bag filled with some things they thought he might enjoy a bit more. He was also presented with a hat and tee shirt from the fire department.
Dennis shyly took over from there to thank all who helped in the successful outcome on that fateful day.
“Thank you to all the first responders (police department, firefighters department, EMT, and doctors involved). Thank
you to the ladies and camp man- agement who jumped into action and heard my voice. It was a scary moment,” he said.
The young man did not end there, however. He also had an important message for his gener- ational peers that he took away from that day.

   1   2   3   4   5