Local hero honored for saving neighbor

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Local hero Jeff Heidtmann was honored by the Southold Town Board Tuesday.

Southold Town honored local hero Jeff Heidtmann Tuesday night for his role in rescuing an 84-year-old man who fell through the ice earlier this month.

On Jan. 3, Mr. Heidtmann was the only one who heard the cries for help from his neighbor Robert Frey, who had slipped on the icy canal in back of his Southold home, becoming trapped between docks.

Mr. Frey was stuck for nearly a half hour before his rescue. EMS workers said Mr. Frey was likely minutes from death when he was rescued.

Supervisor Scott Russell presented Mr. Heidtmann with a plaque and words of gratitude on behalf of the entire community.

“Despite the impending danger to his own life, Jeff’s instincts and quick thinking caused him to act immediately to pull his neighbor from the freezing water and safe his life,” Mr. Russell said. “We express our deep and sincere appreciation for his civilian service to the citizens of Southold Town.”

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