Harrisville EMT recognized for off-duty rescue of 17-year-old driver trapped in Round Top Brook

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BURRILLVILLE – An EMT/firefighter with the Harrisville Fire District received a Certificate of Meritorious Service this week for the off-duty rescue in April of a 17-year-old driver trapped inside a vehicle that had flipped over into Round Top Brook.

Matthew Alix was recognized for his potentially life-saving efforts at the district’s annual meeting on Monday, June 14.

According to a narrative on the incident, Alix was driving home from Uxbridge, Mass. on Brook Road on Friday, April 16 – a relatively cold spring day – when he noticed lights coming from the water. Alix stopped to investigate, and soon realized the source was an overturned vehicle.

“Upon approaching the edge of the road, he could hear a pounding noise coming from the vehicle and realized that someone was trapped,” noted the narrative.

“No one was aware there was a car flipped over,” explained Harrisville Fire Chief Michael Gingell of the event. “It happened just before he arrived.”

Alix quickly notified dispatch, then entered the frigid water in attempt to rescue the occupant.

Once in the brook, the firefighter freed the trapped teenager and helped him back to land.

The young driver was reportedly treated at the scene, and transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where he was evaluated for hypothermia.

“If it wasn’t for FF Alix’s quick actions, the outcome from this incident might have been very tragic,” a write-up on the recognition explained.

The district presented the certificate at the annual meeting, which included an additional awards for others involved in a life-saving effort, as well as election of commission officers, and passage of the annual budget. Visit NRI NOW later in the week for more coverage from the event.

EMT/firefighter Matthew Alix, center, stands with Harrisville Fire Chief Michael Gingell, left, and Deputy Chief Marcel Fontenault.
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