“I felt like when Chad and Stephanie had gotten away from me … I was going to drown,” he said.
Killingsworth was rescued by a nearby boater, but Hazen could not be saved.
Duran, 25, said he was lifelong friends with Hazen, sharing interests and their experiences on Boardman Fire Department together. Killingsworth is his current partner in the department.
“I don’t blame Andrew for anything that occurred that day,” he said. “He does what he does in Loren’s name.”
Graves, 20, joined the department in Hazen’s honor.
“He treated me like I was his little sister,” she said. “I only knew him four months, but I felt I knew him my whole life.”
Duran said it’s difficult to fully express what the award means to Hazen’s friends and family.
“Loren went the way he wanted to,” he said. “The fact he saved that kid’s life, that did not go unnoticed. It’s a tragedy to the people involved or outside, but it’s an amazing accomplishment.”
Woodhams doesn’t know who nominated her son for the award. She said he once could not make the promise every parent wants to hear:
“I said to him to promise that you’ll always come home to me. He looks me in the eye and says, ‘Mom I can’t promise you that, but I promise I’ll always try. I want you to know if I die trying to save someone’s life it was worth it to me.’”