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Firefighters recognized by Columbia City Council for heroic off-duty save

11 firefighters with the City of Columbia were commended by city leaders and staff on the evening of November 6, 2018 for the steps they took last month to save a Richland Two student.

Josh Boyd with 7 of the CFD firefighters who helped save his life.

City Manager Teresa Wilson presented each firefighter with a City LIGHT Award for exhibiting excellence and dedication beyond the call of duty.

This came almost one month after the group performed life-saving aid on Richland Northeast High School QB Josh Boyd after he collapsed at an area gym.

“I am truly proud of these 11 firefighters for the crucial help they provided when it was most needed,” said Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “Whether or not they are working on a shift, the men and women of our department always stand ready to help the public.”

The firefighters were reportedly playing a pick-up game of basketball with Josh and a group of teens on October 10, 2018.

During the game witnesses say the teen suddenly collapsed and was exhibiting signs of what appeared to be a seizure. At one point Boyd stopped breathing and the firefighters began to perform CPR.

They did succeed in getting Boyd to breathe again by the time help arrived on scene.

Following a major surgery and days of treatment the teen was released from hospital care and has since made a full recovery. 

The recognition ceremony took place at the meeting of the Columbia City Council on November 6, 2018. Josh Boyd and his family were in attendance.

Joyce Boyd (mother of Josh Boyd) embracing CFD firefighters

The LIGHT Award is presented to city employees who demonstrate Leadership, Integrity, Generosity, Helpfulness and Talent (LIGHT).

The firefighters formally recognized were:

Fire Captain Kareem Spain

Engineer Arthur Mitchell

Senior Firefighter Jonathan Dukes

Senior Firefighter Stephan Sims-King

Firefighter Kiah Thomas

Firefighter Kiante Curenton

Firefighter Caleb McLaughlin

Firefighter Marcus Pee

Firefighter Andrew McClaine III 

Firefighter Sadarius Thomas

Firefighter Len K. Stokes Jr.