True Hero: Policeman/Former Marine Saves Man From Fridgid Forest

Herbie J Pilato
Photo byNew Jersey State Police – Facebook

According to the Good News Network, "a team of New Jersey police officers went “above and beyond” to rescue a stranded man who nearly died from the cold.

"Tom McHugh was reported missing by his daughter on December 17th, 24 hours after she had last seen him—when he left for a ride in the mountains of rural Sussex County in his side-by-side.

"A search was organized as temperatures were low and snow was on the ground. After finding McHugh’s tire tracks, his side-by-side was found crashed by the side of the trail in Stokes State Forest.

"Troopers were able to follow his boot prints through the snow a mile-and-a-half to reach the man, who was alive but unconscious and suffering from hypothermia, a frightful condition that renders the limbs difficult to control, and seriously impairs thinking ability.

"One trooper was an ex-marine and used his training to raise the McHugh’s body temperature without fire or blankets."

“That’s what they teach us to do: life-saving skills in cold conditions,” said New Jersey State Trooper James Thonus. “Strip down, get on top of him, give him sternum rubs, body heat to body heat, whatever you can do to get [him warm].”

As the Good News Network continued to report, "body camera footage released records one trooper calling on another who had just finished running and had “excess body heat” to take turns laying on top of McHugh in the same way.

"McHugh’s breathing improved, but the team [was] then forced to carry the 6-foot-2, 200-plus pound man all the way back to the vehicles through snow and mud."

Fortunately, McHugh made a complete recovery. “Because they found him so fast. They did what they had to. But they went above and beyond,” said McHugh’s daughter, who called them heroes.

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION, THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

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