Initial employee pulls man, dog from freezing water

The RIght Response
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

TITUSVILLE, N.J.--For Kevin Phillips, a quality assurance manager at Initial Security, former police officer and Gulf War veteran, it is part of his nature to be on watch. That nature saved the lives of a man and his dog when, during a drive home from his company's Delaware branch last December, Phillips saw a dog's head sticking out of the ice.
"It looked odd, black fur with white ice," Phillips said. When he got closer to investigate, he saw a man's hand pop out from the ice.
"I stopped the truck, jumped the median, and got in the water, but I was too far away," to help the man and dog, he said. Phillips had to get back in his truck and drive around to the other side of the canal. Once closer, Phillips strapped himself to his truck by tying a towline around his bumper and waist, and dove back into the water and grabbed the 27-year-old man. "My hands were frozen. I couldn't feel them," Phillips said, yet he was determined to get Eric Green and his Burmese Mountain Dog out of the water.
According to the police, the dog and owner had been walking near the canal and the dog ventured too close to the canal and slipped into the water. Green lost his balance and fell in as he tried to pull his dog from the water.
When describing the scene after the save, Phillips said, "I was going to just go after the dog; luckily the kid put his hand out. If not I would have never known that he was there."
Traffic stopped as Phillips retrieved the dog and Green, who was falling in and out of consciousness. An off-duty paramedic also assisted in the rescue.
After the event, the Hopewell Township municipality honored Phillips for his act of heroism, with a ceremony in January.
"I didn't expect all this support," Phillips said, who has three children. "It was just a normal everyday thing."