On Saturday morning, three local teenagers were honored by Heidi’s Helping Angels for their part in rescuing an unidentified Medford man who Riverhead police said fell into the Peconic River near McDermott Avenue Dec. 27.
Friends Christopher Lull, 19, and Tyrek Highsmith, 18, both of Riverhead, and Isabella “Izzy” DiPierro, 16, of Wading River were presented with certificates of recognition and three $200 gift cards during a Peconic Riverfront ceremony for calling police upon hearing the victim cry for help, said Chuck Thomas, president of Heidi’s Helping Angels.
“At first, we were trying to get [the man] out of the water ourselves,” Christopher said. “I actually yelled to Izzy to call 911 because we weren’t going to be able to do it and he was going to freeze to death.”
Police rescued the victim soon after the call was placed, Mr. Thomas said. His condition has not been made public.
Mason Haas, a Heidi’s Helping Angels board member, said the teens represent the spirit of the nonprofit, which was formed in honor of Heidi Behr, a 23-year-old Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps volunteer who was killed in a car crash while on duty in 2005.
“The board loves to promote volunteerism and people stepping forward,” Mr. Haas said. “[The teenagers] acted upon their instinct to help somebody, which ultimately saved a life.”
Christopher called the recognition “a great honor.” Tyrek and Izzy agreed.
“It just felt like we did something really good,” Izzy said.