Firefighters honored for rescuing boy buried under sand

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They’re calling it the Miracle at Mount Baldy.

Michigan City firefighters were honored for the incredible rescue effort that saved Nathan Woessner’s life, last month. The 6 year old boy from Sterling, Illinois was buried alive in at least 11 feet of sand at the Indiana dunes.

Firefighter Anthony Stahoviak  said “You start digging and after a while you start to wonder, where is he? Because you’re digging far and you don’t find anything yet. It was stressful.”

Emergency responders used their hands and shovel .as they raced against the clock, frantically searching for Nathan.

Firefighter Brad Kreighbaum said “Those could be your children. [We] just wanted to get him out try to stay focus and not lose hope.”

Nearly four hours later Brad Kreighbaum touched the boy. “I was able to reach my hand down a couple of feet and felt the top of his head,” he said, “I looked back that they could tell from the look on my face. They knew.”

“I was digging sand with my hands so they could pull him up. It was a relief just to find him.”

Firefighter William Roddy said “After so long you wouldn’t think anyone could survive that with no air to breath and the sand is compacting. You wouldn’t think anyone could survive that but like they said it’s a true miracle that he did and still to this day you can’t really wrap your mind around it. How did he do that? Guess it’s a blessing. God was looking out for him.”

Nathan immediately showed signs of life and continued to beat the odds with a miraculous recovery.

He’s back at home now with his family. Michigan City’s fire chief called the rescue a true team effort and one of the proudest moments, the city has ever experienced.

“It’s amazing,” Brad said, “It’s actually a moment that makes you proud you do what you do. Everyone there had a key role. There wasn’t a person there that didn’t play a key part right place right time.

Nathan Woessner and his family did not make it to Monday’s event but they are expected at another ceremony planned for August 28th that will honor everyone who was involved in the rescue effort.

Indiana’s governor plans to attend as well.

Nathan’s father said he looks forward to shaking a lot of hands and hugging a lot of necks when he meets for the first time– some of the people who worked so hard to save his son.

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