Man to be lauded for saving two lives

Chief Michael Chipowsky will present Kevin Phillips with a resolution recognizing his "heroic act of valor"

By John Tredrea
   Kevin Phillips, the 36-year-old Pennsylvania man credited by local police with saving the lives of a drowning man and dog last month in Titusville, is scheduled to be honored at Monday’s Hopewell Township Committee meeting.
   Mr. Phillips, a quality assurance manager for the East Region of Initial Security Inc., will be lauded by Hopewell Township Police Chief Michael Chipowsky. The chief will present Mr. Phillips with a resolution recognizing his "heroic act of valor."
   Eric Green, the man Mr. Phillips saved, has told township police he plans to attend along with members of his family.
   At about 2 p.m. on Dec. 15, Mr. Green, 27, of Washington Crossing, Pa., was walking his 100-pound Burmese mountain dog, along the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Titusville. The dog ventured too close to the water and slipped into the canal, where thin ice, which briefly supported the animal, broke. Mr. Green was holding his dog’s leash and, as he tried to pull his dog from the 20-degree water, he fell in, too.
   Mr. Phillips, a Gulf War veteran, of Albrightsville, Pa., was on his way to his residence in the Poconos from a job in Delaware when he spotted a dog in the water as he was driving northbound on Route 29. He parked his pickup truck, crossed the highway and jumped into the icy water.
   When Mr. Phillips, who — according to a spokeswoman for Initial Security — had been released from a hospital for chest pains the day before, realized he was too far away from Mr. Green and the dog, he jumped back into his Dodge pickup truck and drove across a bridge to the opposite side of the canal. Once there, he strapped himself to his truck by tying a towline around his bumper and waist and dove back in.
   After Mr. Green slipped through his hands, Mr. Phillips said he went back into the water a third time for him and a fourth time for the dog.
   "I wasn’t looking at my surroundings," Mr. Phillips said. "I was just trying to concentrate on the kid. That was all that mattered."
   Mr. Green’s family will donate 12 safety lines to the Hopewell Township Police Department in recognition of Mr. Phillips’ act of heroism, a spokeswoman for Initial Security said.
   Police and rescue crews arrived at the canal and transported Mr. Green and Mr. Phillips to Capital Health System, Fuld Campus for treatment of hypothermia.
   Mr. Green, Mr. Phillips and the 100-pound dog are all in excellent condition, authorities said Monday.