HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Colby Speck is a Rutherford Elementary School student, a baseball player, and a hero. At 10 years old, the Swatara Township boy saved his grandmother’s life.
Elaine Harp, Colby’s grandmother, has Parkinson’s disease. This past July, his grandmother started choking one afternoon.
Colby explains what happened next:
“My mom was standing right here, my grandma was in front and she was doing the Heimlich, but she had to do it from the side because she is pregnant, so I was able to do it the correct way and it came up,” Colby said.
He learned the Heimlich maneuver from his mother, Jessica Speck.
“She used to work at a nursing home,” Colby said.
Harp did not have to go to the hospital. Colby’s actions made his uncle, an assistant fire chief in Linglestown, overjoyed.
“This great sense of pride, knowing my nephew did so great for the family.” Sean Harp said.
Word spread to the Swatara Township Fire Department. The fire chief wanted to do something special for Colby.
“I thought about it, for so much negativity that goes on. I just saw this as an opportunity to shine a light on something good,” Michael Ibberson, Director of Fire Services said.
Colby was honored during a recent commissioner’s meeting with a swearing-in ceremony by Magisterial District Judge Michael Smith, making him an honorary Swatara Township firefighter — badge and all.
“Our family is extremely proud of you, not only as a grandson but a well-rounded young man,” Ralph Harp, Colby’s grandfather, said at the ceremony.
Colby’s career choice may come as no surprise. He’s looking forward to saving even more lives.
“Be a firefighter,” he said. “It makes me feel happy.”