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Sept. 6, 2013 - Students in a Timberline High class were surprised to find Boise Mayor David Bieter, Chief of Police Michael Masterson and Fire Marshal Romeo Gervais and several other guests waiting for them this morning.
The group gathered to surprise and honor Timberline Senior Clay Kenyon. Timberline School Resource Officer Ted Arnold organized the event to recognize Clay for saving the life of Joann Conger August 11th. That afternoon, the 70 year old Conger had fallen into the canal while picking flowers. Clay was riding his bike nearby and was flagged down by a neighbor who heard the woman call for help.
Clay is a swimmer for the Timberline Swim Team and knew he had the strength and skills to jump into the swift, cold canal and pull her to safety with the help of several other citizens who, by then had run to the scene.
"She just needed help. I knew I was a good swimmer and it seemed like the right thing to do," said Clay, who was humbled and a bit overwhelmed by all the attention today.
"When the officers and firefighters showed up, I was relieved, I knew she was in good hands and was going to be OK." said Clay.
Mrs. Conger was also in the classroom today surprising Clay and very thankful they could meet again under much happier circumstances. Our hats off to Clay Kenyon who received a Citizen Lifesaving Award from the City of Boise and the Boise Police and Boise Fire Departments.
"The Lord and Clay were looking out for me that day," said Mrs. Conger.
"I wasn't able to talk to her a lot of the side of the canal," said Clay, "The paramedics and firefighters were making sure she was okay. I was really nice to see her again."
And to Clay's mom and dad who were also in the classroom to surprise their son today, thank you for raising such a bright, brave young man who is making Boise proud.
The following is the text of the Commendation presented to Clay this morning:
On August 11, 2013, at approximately 5:26 p.m. a woman accidentally fell into the New York Canal and was in grave danger of drowning. A man tending to the grill in the backyard of his southeast Boise home, which is elevated above the New York Canal, and his mother heard someone calling for help. They turned and observed a woman floating head first in the canal’s swift current. The man only had enough time to yell to the woman he was calling 911 and to try to work her way to his side of the canal. This particular section of the canal has no gates or ladders and extremely steep concrete banks and is virtually impossible to get out of – even for the strongest of swimmers. After calling 911, the man noticed a young cyclist, Clay Kenyon riding over a canal bridge. The man yelled out to Clay, told him about the woman and asked him to go to the canal bank to find her. The man had never seen or met Clay and had no idea how he would respond. Clay responded immediately and rode off in search of the woman. Clay was able to locate her. When he did, he jumped into the canal, reached the woman and was able to keep her head above water until a floatation device was thrown to him. He swam holding the woman over to the bank to an area of slack water where he and others pulled her out of the water. When firefighters and officers arrived, the woman was exhausted but unharmed, conscious and responsive. She was transported to the hospital for observation but soon released.
Clay is a hero. His quick response and willingness to help a stranger at substantial risk to himself are exemplary. For his bravery and heroism, Clay Kenyon is awarded a Lifesaving Commendation from the Boise Police and Boise Fire Departments.