On January 19, 2015, Firefighter Erik Noel was fishing at a local pond with his family and neighbors. Firefighter Noel noticed a child 4 years old fall into the pond and went under the water. The depth is approximately 12 feet deep. Firefighter Noel instantly jumped in and grabbed the child holding him up so that his wife could get him. Firefighter Noel said the water was frigid and he could barely swim himself because it was so cold. Firefighter Brett Sparks was there as well and helped Firefighter Noel get out of the water. The child sustained no injuries. The quick actions by Firefighter Noel and the assistance from Firefighter Sparks most definitely saved this child's life. The water in January is very cold and had Noel hesitated this outcome may have been very different.
This was a selfless act off duty, on February 26, he was awarded the Meritorious Action Award by Georgetown County Administrator Sel Hemingway at a luncheon held at Bistro 217.