ALTAMONT, Kans. — Seniors at Labette County High School are filling the auditorium for something extra special.
17-year-old Noah Hentzen seems concerned, but he’s about to get a surprise from the sheriff.
“So, I’m sure you’re all wondering what we’re doing here today, right?” said Sheriff Darren Eichinger, Labette County Sheriff’s Office, “We’re here to honor one of the Labette County High School students who we think did an amazing deed.”
Back on January 12th, at 7:31 a.m., Noah was simply on his way to school.
“I was talking to my girlfriend on the phone and I saw another car go in the other lane, and it just all exploded,” said Noah Hentzen, LCHS Senior/Life Saving Award Recipient.
A mother and five children between the ages of one and fifteen were involved in a two-vehicle crash at 19000 and Ness Road.
“I just ran over there. I see a kid jump out of the car and he looked at me, and it was just gruesome, you know what I mean?” said Hentzen.
“Immediately called 911, jumped out of his car, went down to the car that had five children and then, of course, the mother, and immediately started rending aid to them. You know, he was on the phone with dispatch, they were telling him what to do,” said Eichinger.
“I didn’t really have time to think. It was just kind of, ‘Do it.’ Do you know what I mean? Just do what I needed to do, so,” said Hentzen
Unbeknownst to Noah, helicopters were requested by dispatch to respond, but they couldn’t fly due to the weather.
Noah stayed with the mother and her children until help could arrive.
“He went above and beyond what he could have done. He stayed there, he followed everything I asked. Never did he hesitate. I asked him to get a clean, dry cloth. He took the shirt off his back and put it on that young baby’s head,” said Shelli Blair, Labette Co 911 Supervisor/Took Noah’s 911 Call.
“He took his shirt off, put it on the kid’s head to stop the bleeding, you know, and then moved all five kids back to his vehicle,” said Eichinger.
This scene, of course, looks much different than it did back on that day, on January 12th, but 911 dispatchers and the Sheriff say they notice something in Noah they don’t often see.
“As a dispatcher, it’s an awesome feeling. As a mom, it’s very touching to know that there are kids like that,” said Shelli Blair, Labette Co 911 Supervisor/Took Noah’s 911 Call.
That’s why Sheriff Eichinger surprised Noah in front of his peers with the “Life Saving Award”, for his courage and commitment to helping a mother and her children in their time of need.
“I find it inspiring that you have somebody of his age that would stop at something like that and help people in need. I think he did an amazing job,” said Eichinger.
Noah has kept in touch with the mother involved in the wreck, and he says she and the kids all survived, and are all doing okay. Neither vehicle suffered fatalities.
After saving lives, Noah still went to school that day.