Jack Conant, 17, of Ridley Township, and Thomas Schoettle, of Glenolden, also 17, have been close friends since both attended kindergarten at the former Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Ridley Township.
That friendship is even tighter now because of an event that happened in June at a backyard swimming pool.
Conant saw that Schoettle was in trouble after he dove into the pool. He got his friend out of the water, began giving him CPR and stabilized him until paramedics arrived. He rode in the ambulance with Schoettle to the hospital.
Samantha Schoettle said her son was transferred from Crozer-Chester Medical Center to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia for treatment and he is now in Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation facility.
Word spread of Conant’s efforts to save his friend and, at their July meeting, the Ridley Township Board of Commissioners presented the young hero with a resolution that will be part of the township’s official record.
Samantha Schoettle was there for Conant’s presentation and she streamed the event live on her cell phone to Bryn Mawr so Thomas could watch. She said her son suffered a bruised spinal cord and a fractured neck that is being stabilized with screws and rods. He is expected to be released from rehab on Sept. 1.
“He will be taking on-line courses (when school starts) and we’re hoping he will be back in school by February,” his mother said.
Both young men are the sons of Steven Conant and Tom Schoettle.
The resolution presented to the younger Conant reads in part “…The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Ridley do hereby acknowledge, salute and commend Jack Conant for his quick, calm response during an extremely tense situation and applaud his actions in rushing to Thomas’ aid and rendering valuable assistance until medical personnel arrived.”
Conant said he didn’t expect to get the resolution.
“But it was nice,” he said. “I did just what needed to be done and Thomas would have done the same for me.”
In another matter, Magisterial District Judge Vincent Gallagher administered the oath of office to recently promoted police Sgt. Thomas Holmes. Holmes began his career with the township police department in 1982 as a police dispatcher. In 2007 he became a detective and is now a sergeant in the Detective Division.
“This is a very special night in Ridley Township,” said Board of Commissioners President Bob Willert in congratulating Holmes.
In her report at the meeting, Eighth Ward Commissioner Nancy Robert noted that the township collected 243.88 tons of recycled material in June, bringing in $1,219 in revenue. But she also said the township paid the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority $45,785 to dispose of 1,387.43 tons of trash that will eventually wind up in a landfill.
“If we had to pay (the solid waste authority) to have the recycling we picked-up (disposed of) it would have cost us $8,048 more,” Robert said in underscoring the importance of recycling.
The township sets aside every Wednesday to pick-up recyclables at curb-side.