Boy Scout honored for heroism

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  Laura Stetser/Pictured from left, eighth-grader and Boy Scout Brendan Crawford receives a square knot patch from his troop leader Bill Schmitz while his uncle Chris Schanz looks on with pride. Laura Stetser/Pictured from left, eighth-grader and Boy Scout Brendan Crawford receives a square knot patch from his troop leader Bill Schmitz while his uncle Chris Schanz looks on with pride.

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Chris Schanz was looking toward his other nephew Donald when he started choking on a piece of steak during a family dinner back in May in the Egg Harbor Township home they share.

“I was looking at Donald; I wasn’t even looking at Brendan,” he said on Thursday, Nov. 29 at the Boy Scout ceremony honoring Brendan Crawford, an eighth-grader and Scout in Troop 389 based at Atlantic Christian School.

So Schanz, who stands 6 feet 2 inches and weighs around 260 pounds, was surprised when 130-pound Brendan jumped into action, immediately employing the Heimlich maneuver he learned in training from troop leader Bill Schmitz.

“I was fading out,” Schanz said. “And I see Brendan get right up and come over.”

Brendan said while his uncle wasn’t looking at him, he noticed the signs of choking he had studied in the Scouts.

“He was turning red and crossed his hands up by his neck, which is the universal sign for choking,” the Alder Avenue Middle School student said. “I remembered my first aid training and started to help.”

Word of the Scout’s life-saving deed made its way to the Scouts’ National Court of Honor and he was issued a Heroism Award for demonstrating heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life.

He also earned a square knot patch, which is rarely earned by Scouts so young, Schmitz said.

“This one will be very noticeable. It sits above the pocket, where you rarely see younger Scouts have badges.”

Schmitz said he is proud to be able to honor the boy, noting his award was the first he had seen handed down in his 63 years involved in the organization.

“He didn’t even hesitate,” Schmitz said. “You can’t give a life back once it’s taken away and the skill he used to save his uncle’s life was learned in Boy Scouts.”

Laura Stetser/Chris Schanz thanks his nephew Brendan Crawford, both of Egg Harbor Township, for saving his life back in May when the Boy Scout used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a piece of steak from his airway. Laura Stetser/Chris Schanz thanks his nephew Brendan Crawford, both of Egg Harbor Township, for saving his life back in May when the Boy Scout used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a piece of steak from his airway.

Laura Stetser/Brendan Crawford of Egg Harbor Township was the recipient of the Boy Scouts of America’s Heroism Award, one of the organization’s most esteemed awards. Laura Stetser/Brendan Crawford of Egg Harbor Township was the recipient of the Boy Scouts of America’s Heroism Award, one of the organization’s most esteemed awards.


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