Five teenage boys from New Jersey are being hailed as heroes after they formed a human chain to rescue two small children from an icy pond.


Eight-year-old Olivia Heid was sledding at a country club in Middleton last Thursday with her four-year-old brother RJ when their sled flew over a ridge and into an icy pond. Their parents were watching from nearby, powerless to do anything to stop the sled once it got out of control.

“They were continually getting more momentum. I realized right there like holy crap, they’re going down to that water,” father Richard Heid said, with their mother Stephanie Irlbeck adding, “You could see in their faces that they knew something bad was about to happen.

“It was like freezing. Our faces were in shock. RJ was like, really cold,” Olivia told CBS New York afterward.

Luckily for them, five teenagers saw this happen and immediately leaped to action to save them.

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“Me and Joey first saw them. I think we’re both thinking, should we like jump in front of the raft to try to stop it?” Drew Scalice said. “We couldn’t. It was going way too fast.”

Seconds later, 14-year-old Kieran Foley jumped into the water to rescue RJ and then Olivia, handing them off to his friends, who had formed a human chain.

“We definitely had to do something,” he explained. “We can’t just sit there and watch.”

The teenagers said afterward that their Boy Scouts training helped to prepare them to help others when they need it.

“Honestly, I feel like I didn’t do much,” said Ryan Day, with Tyler Armagan adding, “We hope that anybody would do that. It just happened to be us there.”

The Heid family, however, does not agree with these sentiments.


“What they did was, like, just amazing,” Richard Heid said. “It was awesome to see little kids do that.”

“Adults wouldn’t do things like that, you know?” Irlbeck continued. “Oh my God, this could have been a catastrophic situation.”

Despite how humble the teenagers are, the Heid family thinks that they deserve all the recognition in the world for saving their children.


This piece originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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