AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The Western Massachusetts Red Cross now has a second generation Hometown Hero. In 2013, Westfield Fire Department Captain Rebecca Boutin saved the life of a fellow firefighter.
On the morning of March 17th, The Red Cross honors Rebecca’s Mom, Agawam firefighter Pam Murphy, for saving the life of a six year old boy. The child’s mother told 22News how Pam rescued the child from the rocks and surf off Cape Cod last summer.
“I was just so relieved to see that someone had their hands on him and to stop him from actually hitting the rocks,” said Kate Gourde of Holyoke.
“It was overwhelming and I was shocked by the whole situation, and it was later on that evening that it really started to hit me, what had happened what could have been the result,” said Gourde.
Although Pam Murphy and the Gourde family had vacationed for years nearby at the Dennisport Beach, they had never met until that afternoon on July 25th, when this firefighter and EMT saw the danger facing six year old Raymond Gourde off-shore.
“He was within four to five feet of the rocks and the waves were going over him. So I had water shoes on the rocks underneath me, I was able to maneuver to the rocks and I took him out of the water. And I just hung onto him I don’t think we even said anything he just hugged me,” said Murphy.
A token of deep appreciation from a grateful mother to a hometown hero and, as Kate Gourde describes Pam Murphy “her families guardian angel”. Pam would gladly share her hometown heroes accolade with Raymond’s older brother, Robert who was then 13 years old.
“We have a hometown hero he’s to me, It’s him,” said Murphy.
“I wanted to get over there, so no one else would get in a dangerous situation. I didn’t want another person stuck in those rocks. I wanted to take charge and help them. I didn’t want Pam to get hurt either,” said Robert Gourde.
“I was familiar with the hometown heroes program and I remember thinking, if ever there was a situation that was deserving of that, this was. So very blessed to know her and thank God she was there,” said Kate Gourde.
Pam Murphy retires next year from the Agawam Fire Department, but first the acceptance of an honor from the Western Massachusetts Red Cross at the hometown heroes breakfast on March 17th.