The City of Ostrava has presented awards to three heroes who saved a man’s life

14/5 2024

Three men – Vladimír Tomčák (a member of the public), Tomáš Zevel (a National Police Force officer) and Petr Komoň (a City Police Force officer) – have been recognized for their role in saving a man’s life. It is thanks to them that a 19-year-old student was rescued from drowning after having been taken suddenly ill at a swimming pool.

The City of Ostrava has presented awards to three heroes who saved a man’s life

The awards were presented at a session of the City Council. Photograph: Jiří Zerzoň

The men’s attentiveness and quick reactions were praised by the Mayor of Ostrava and police chiefs.

For all three men, Saturday 23 March 2024 seemed like a completely normal day as they enjoyed an afternoon at one of Ostrava’s swimming pools.

Vladimír – a regular visitor to the pool – arrived at around 2:30 p.m. Immediately he noticed a young man who was almost at the bottom of the pool, at a depth of 1.2 metres.

At first it looked like the young man was diving – partly because the water jets from the sides of the pool were causing his hands to move. But Vladimír decided to keep an eye on the situation, and he soon became alarmed when he realized that the man was not moving. So he left nothing to chance, jumping into the water and swimming to the man. He found that the man was drowning, and immediately he began pulling him to the edge of the pool.

The other two men – Tomáš and Petr – immediately came to Vladimír’s aid, showing no hesitation and displaying great professionalism. Having pulled the young man out of the pool and finding that he showed no signs of life, they placed him in a stable position and began resuscitating him. One of the pool lifeguards helped them, while the other called paramedics. The men took turns to give the young man a heart massage and the kiss of life. After ten minutes, they succeeded in restoring the young man’s vital functions before the paramedics arrived.

The student is now perfectly well, and he is once again enjoying his life. But if these three men had not come to his aid, his young life would already be over. The events of that day will live long in the memories of the three rescuers, who are genuine heroes.

This afternoon, the men’s actions were recognized in a ceremony at Ostrava City Hall, as they were presented with awards by the Mayor Jan Dohnal, the Chief of the Ostrava division of the National Police Force Colonel Antonín Řezníček, and the Chief of the Ostrava City Police Force Miroslav Plaček.

The three men received awards and gifts from the City.

Mayor Jan Dohnal praised their actions: “These men’s attentiveness and willingness to help were crucially important in saving a drowning man’s life. We often hear complaints that people are unwilling to intervene when they see a crime being committed, or that after traffic accidents people film the events with their phones instead of helping those who need it. But the men who have been thanked today by the City Council and the two police chiefs helped to save a young man’s life – and they are wonderful role models for others, showing by their own example how we should behave in critical situations.”

The City Police Force Chief Miroslav Plaček added: “I’m very proud of our officer Petr Komoň, who along with two other people helped to rescue a drowning man. His actions were fully in accordance with his mission as a police officer. I appreciate it even more because he was not on duty at the time.”

Antonín Řezníček, the Chief of the Ostrava division of the National Police Force, likewise praised his officer: “I’m glad that Tomáš Zevel is our colleague in the Ostrava police. His actions displayed great professionalism. He did not hesitate to give first aid, helping to save a young man’s life. He is a true role model – not only for police officers, but for everybody.”