ALBANY, NY – In January of this year, Brendan Foran’s ATV broke through the ice while he was riding on Lake Oscawana. Thanks to the rescue effort driven by a local family and a team of first responders, Foran luckily survived the incident. Today, Senator Sue Serino announced that the local family involved in coordinating the rescue efforts—the Kuttrufs—has been presented with the New York State Senate’s highest honor, the Liberty Medal.
“This heroic story could have had a very different outcome had it not been for the quick thinking of the Kuttrufs and their 14 year-old son, Zachary. Zachary’s quick thinking and his family’s ability to work together with the first responders made all the difference in this dangerous situation,” said Senator Sue Serino. “I’m proud to honor them for their actions, and I commend them for their courageous efforts. It is our hope that their story of selflessness and their willingness to act in the face of danger can inspire other New Yorkers to come together and act in times of trouble.”
The New York State Senate Liberty Medal is bestowed upon individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.
It was January 23rd when Brendan Foran was riding his ATV on Lake Oscawana, and it plunged through the ice. Upon hearing cries for help, Zachary, who is a Sheriff’s Cadet and Boy Scout, immediately responded to the scene and ran out to the road to flag down first responders. According to local reports, when first responders arrived, Foran had already been in the frigid waters for over 10 minutes, but Zachary and his parents, Jennifer and Bruce, worked tirelessly to coordinate a rescue effort and assist those responders. After multiple attempts in dangerous conditions on unstable ice, Jennifer Kuttruf ultimately retrieved an extension cord from her home that was used to successfully pull Foran out of the water. According to an article published in the Putnam Daily Voice, following the incident, Deputy Jonathon Bradley was the first responder on the scene, and when his sergeant commented that he ultimately saved Foran’s life, Bradley gave most of the credit to the young cadet, Zachary Kuttruf, for flagging him down and helping to coordinate the rescue effort.
The Kuttrufs joined Senator Serino in Albany on Wednesday, May 22nd where they were presented with the prestigious award and recognized on the floor of the State Senate for their heroic actions.