It was a bike ride they’ll never forget.
Three Bayport teens were out having fun on a sunny September Saturday when they suddenly rode upon their call to heroism.
Riley Spencer, Ethan Christophersen and Braedan Downey, all 15 years old, found an unconscious motorist behind the wheel of his car Sept. 12 in the middle of Purick Street in Bayport.
After failed attempts to wake the man, the three friends immediately called 911, and then stayed with the unconscious man until first responders from the Bayport Fire Department arrived and administered two rounds of Narcan to revive the overdose victim.
“The boys’ actions saved a man’s life and prevented him from becoming yet another victim, another statistic, and we are so proud of them,” Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said this week during a ceremony where the boys received Town of Islip citations for their life-saving actions.
Town officials commended the boys for acting with clarity and purpose during those few precious minutes between life and death, giving the victim a second chance at life and sobriety.
The heroic effort occurred as Islip marked, “Islip Goes Purple,” a month-long, town-wide awareness campaign designed to prevent overdoses, in conjunction with National Recovery Month in September. Storefronts along Islip’s Main Streets and the Islip Town Hall cupola were bathed in purple light, and street lamps were adorned with flags during September.
“Through the town’s “Islip Goes Purple’ campaign,” we have been able to increase the awareness that opioid and heroin use and overdoses are at epidemic proportions — not only here, but across the country,” Carpenter said. “There are resources available to those suffering from addiction, and to their families.”
Carpenter, who was joined by Islip Councilwoman Mary Kate Mullen and Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Executive Director MaryAnn Pfeiffer in commending the boys, said people suffering from addiction and in need of help can visit islipny.gov/purple for information about available resources.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were more than 70,000 opioid and heroin overdose deaths last year, more than any year in history.
“These boys saved a life and by doing so, they have brought more awareness to this problem, and we are so grateful,” said MaryAnn Pfeiffer, who is also co-chair of the Town of Islip Opioid/Heroin Task Force.
“As a mom and as a Blue Point resident, I am so proud of them,” Mary Kate Mullen, who is the town board’s liaison to the Opioid/Heroin Task Force. “This is an epidemic, and this year has been the worst ever. We need to have more boys react like these three.”