Two boys, ages 12 and 13, remain hospitalized in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit after they and two other friends fell through the ice Sunday into a Lansdowne pond.
Fire crews, including five water rescue teams, were dispatched at 1:28 p.m. to a call for an ice rescue at Hillcrest Park on 3rd Avenue. The pond is adjacent to the rear of the Lansdowne High School property.
First-arriving fire and police personnel found a bystander who said he and another witness saw four boys walking across the pond when they fell through ice that was one to two inches thick. Two of the boys made it to the shore on their own, and the bystanders -- who did not know each other -- ran to help the two who remained in the water.
The bystanders ran into the freezing water and were able to pull one of the missing boys, Omar Chive Benjamin, 12, of the 7200 block of Calm Sunset Rd., Columbia, to shore. Benjamin was unconscious. The bystanders began providing medical care until police and BCoFD medical personnel arrived (about three minutes after the dispatch time).
The fourth patient, Kyron Aikens, 13, of the 2400 block of Marbourne Ave., 21230, was pulled from the water at 2:47 p.m. by members of the Arbutus VFD water rescue team. He was in cardiac arrest. After a consultation with doctors at St. Agnes Hospital, BCoFD transported the boy by ground to St. Agnes; he later was transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Aikens and Benjamin are listed serious condition in Hopkins' Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. (Patients in cardiac arrest who have been submerged in very cold temperatures sometimes have a better chance of survival than other cardiac arrest patients because the cold drastically slows down the heart and respiratory systems.)
The other two boys, Junior Wilbert Thomas, 8, of the 7200 block of Calm Sunset Rd. in Columbia and Jujuan Wilder, 12, of the 3400 block of Spellman Rd., 21225, were transported to St. Agnes Hospital and have been released.
About 25 career and volunteer fire units responded to this rescue, including water rescue teams from the following companies: Arbutus VFD, Texas Station #17, Carroll County's Gamber VFC, Middle River Volunteer Ambulance Rescue Co. and North Point/Edgemere Station VFD.
Arbutus VFD took the lead on this rescue. A diver from the Gamber VFC located the fourth patient, Kyron Aikens, in the water; personnel from Arbutus transported him to shore.
Fire officials said this this incident illustrates why in Maryland walking across or playing on the ice is never safe. Temperatures in the mid-Atlantic almost never become cold enough to create a layer of ice thick enough for recreation.