Eric Anderson had at least two choices — freeze or respond — when his little brother was attacked by a pit bull one afternoon in April.
While the two were playing in a neighbor’s back yard, Eric’s brother, Sean, jumped from a play set when the 90-pound animal charged him and began to attack.
After neighbors helped contain the dog, Eric used carrying techniques and basic first-aid skills he had learned in Boy Scouts to move his brother to safety.
That bravery is credited for helping save his brother’s life and has earned the 13-year-old White Knoll Middle School student Scouting’s highest life-saving award.
Eric, a member of Troop 343 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in West Columbia, received the Boy Scouts Honor Medal with Crossed Palms during the statewide Salute to Eagles event late last month.
Eric was a Webelos Scout when the attack occurred. He was noted for his unusual heroism and extraordinary Scouting skills to save someone else’s life at extreme personal risk. The award was presented by the chief scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America.
“We are proud of Eric for putting his Scouting skills to work to help save his brother,” said Doug Stone, Scout executive of the Indian Waters Council, which serves the Midlands. “By recognizing the situation for what it was, quick thinking and action to get help, Eric prevented a much more tragic outcome. He did so instinctually and selflessly because of what he learned in Scouting.”
The Indian Waters Council has about 8,000 Scouts.
“The programs of the Boy Scouts of America not only transform lives for the better, they save lives,” Stone said. “While the presentation of this heroism award is not common, the tremendous impact of Scouting can be seen each and every day.”
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The awards ceremony was established by Sen. Strom Thurmond in 1983 to recognize law enforcement officers who demonstrate excellence in professional law enforcement. Each year a city officer, county officer, state officer and federal officer are honored.
Scott is noted, among other things, for the Columbia Police Department’s community partnerships, customer service and pro-active law enforcement efforts.