5 Middletown North Heroes Save the Lives of Two Children


Lion's Roar Staff, Writer

Normally when a snow storm hits Middletown, youngsters look forward to the fun and excitement that accompanies the climate with sleigh riding, snowball fights and building snowmen. However, a family’s first sledding trip with their 8-year-old and 4-year-old could have ended in tragedy if not for the courage of five Middletown High School North students.

On December 17, 2020, Rich Heid had taken his two children, Olivia, 8, and RJ, 4, for their first taste of the slopes at the Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands. While pushing his children down the hill, the sled carrying the youngsters crashed through an ice-covered pond.  Thankfully, the children were immediately rescued by a group of Middletown High School North students who formed a human chain and pulled Olivia and RJ out of the freezing waters to safety. Middletown North freshman Kieran Foley first jumped into the ice cold pond to rescue the children, while Ryan Day, Drew Scalice, Joseph Dietrich and Tyler Armagan created a human chain to help get both kids to safety until their parents were able make it down the hill.

“I picked up RJ and handed him to my friend,” then “I grabbed Olivia and … I was able to get her up and handed her off,” Foley said.  The young men worked well as a team and their bravery saved the lives of two local children.  The parents of Olivia and RJ were so thankful and grateful for the quick instinctive actions of these heroes.

“If RJ [had fallen] under the ice, this is a whole other story,” said the mother of Olivia and RJ. “Not only did they stop a potentially catastrophic situation they didn’t even want anything in return.”  The parents tried to offer a reward, but the young men would not accept.  These young men displayed such selflessness in putting themselves at risk to help others.

When discussing the dangerous rescue, the boys’ composure and sense of humility was second to none. These young men refused any type of reward and refused any form of notoriety. “It’s what you do… You do a good deed, you don’t do it for rewards,” said Foley.  The Middletown community is so proud of you Kieran, Ryan, Drew, Joseph and Tyler for your bravery and selfless act.  You are a true inspiration and you proved that if we all work together we can make the world a better place.