An 8-year-old boy from Woodland, Washington became an honorary rescue swimmer today when the Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak and Make-A-Wish foundation granted Andrew Bishop’s wish to be a rescue swimmer in Alaska.
After completing training in a modified rescue pool and basic air crewman training, Andrew donned a flight suit and reported for duty. During his flight aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, he assisted in responding to a simulated search and rescue training drill, assisting in hoisting and performing CPR on an injured hiker then transporting him to the local air station.
Upon completion of the mission, Andrew was presented with an Air Medal for his work during the rescue. Coast Guard personnel and family members were at the presentation to congratulate Andrew on a job well done.
The Make-A-Wish foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. While wishes are a dream come true for the recipients, they have an impact on everyone involved; volunteers, families, donors, sponsors, medical professionals and communities. It should be noted that many children “wish” to be involved in activities that involve service to others. Some want to be healthcare workers for a day, while others (like young Andrew) wish to help or rescue those who have been injured.
“I could not be more proud of the coordination effort put forth by the members who helped make this a memorable event for Andrew and his family,” said Capt. Mark Morin, commanding officer of Air Station Kodiak. “Words cannot express the look on Andrew’s face during his time spent with us and we are proud to have such a wonderful addition to the Air Station family.”