MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The rescuers who pulled five children from a car that crashed into a St. Louis Park retention pond were honored for their bravery Thursday night.

The men braved frigid conditions on Nov. 21, 2013, when a car swerved off the road and into a pond. They say they are not heroes.

“We were still doing our job [that we were] trained to do,” said Cpt. Paul Rosholt of the St. Louis Park Fire Department.

But for many, the efforts of these firefighters displayed superior courage and teamwork.

A car with two adults and five children had swerved off of Highway 100 and into a retention pond.

“When we arrived we found two police officers standing about waist deep in water and two adults standing on top of a car that was submerged about three foot under water,” said St. Louis Park Firefighter Tim Smith.

He says the adults were screaming that children were in the car. He and his colleagues put on wetsuits and swam to help the adults and then the children.

“Literally a relay passing those kids from the car, from Tim, to me, to the police officers, to the firefighters, to the paramedics,” Rosholt said.

The men were able to save three of the children. The two that did not make it are on their minds just about every day they put on the uniform.

“It’s tough but it’s satisfying to know the team effort that went in, and some of the result was positive,” Rosholt said.

These firefighters say they share this recognition with many others who helped save lives that day.

“Want to recognize the police officers, the state troopers, the amazing paramedics and the incredible staff at Hennepin County Medical Center,” he said.

The children were trapped underwater in the car for 25 to 45 minutes.

The driver of the car, 23-year-old Marion Guerrido, was charged with not having a valid driver’s license and failure to properly restrain a child.

Reg Chapman

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