Avon teen honored for saving the life of another teen - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Avon teen honored for saving the life of another teen

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Dylan Bernetich was honored on Tuesday night (WFSB) Dylan Bernetich was honored on Tuesday night (WFSB)
AVON, CT (WFSB) -

State and local leaders honored an Avon High School senior who risked his life to safe another teenager.

Back in August, Dylan Bernetich jumped into the Farmington River and pulled an unconscious young man from the murky water. 

Bernetich said he was just reacting and relying on the excellent training he’s received.

It seemed to happen in slow motion. Witnesses watched as the young man they didn't know jumped off the top of the Collinsville trestle bridge.

“Once he was falling through the air I knew something didn't feel right,” said Sofia Galli, who was with her boyfriend, Bernetich, when they saw the jumper was showing off for a few friends.

The jumper hit the water and immediately sank.

“It was more a reaction than a thought process. I didn't think,” Bernetich said.

Bernetich immediately ran down the river bank and jumped in.

“It was very difficult to find him at first, it was really murky. So that was probably the scariest moment of the whole thing,” Bernetich said.

After a few agonizing moments, Bernetich pulled the jumper, who is a teenager, out of the river...he was unconscious but alive.

Bernetich was thrilled he saved a life on that July day, but says he's no super hero...just a proud fire fighter.

“If I wasn't on the fire department with Avon, then I really don't think I would have had the training or the reaction time that I did,” Bernetich said.

Soon the young volunteer firefighter’s phone started blowing up after very powerful people learned about the dramatic rescue, and he even received a call from Gov. Dannel Malloy.

On Tuesday night, Bernetich was officially honored with a proclamation from the governor and Avon superintendent of schools.

Bernetich said he hopes others will see his story and volunteer with their local fire departments. 

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