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Ten-year-old rescues younger brother in pool

Joey Anderson, 10, with his 4-year-old brother, Jimmy, pose in front of the pool where Joey rescued Jimmy after he jumped into the deep end without a life jacket. Photo by Chelsey Perkins

Quick action by a 10-year-old to rescue his younger brother from the deep end of the pool led the Crosslake Police Department to present him with a Citizen Lifesaving Award.

Joey Anderson of Apple Valley said he did not have time to think when he realized his 4-year-old brother Jimmy had mistakenly jumped into the pool without his life jacket on. He jumped in, swam to the bottom, grabbed his brother and brought him to safety.

The boys' father, Joe, said Jimmy, who knows he cannot swim, had been jumping into the pool all day on Wednesday, Aug. 6, with his life jacket. After a family pie-eating contest at a cabin in Crosslake where they were vacationing for the week, Joe was spraying chocolate pudding off of the children with a hose around the corner from the pool, including his and wife Jennifer's five children and several cousins.

After Jimmy was clean, he ran toward the pool and jumped in, not realizing he was no longer wearing his life jacket, Joe said. He began to sink rapidly in the deep end. Joe called out for someone to help, and Joey came to the rescue.

When a family friend who works for the Dakota County Sheriff's Office heard about Joey's actions from a Facebook post, he contacted the Crosslake Police Department to suggest they honor the soon-to-be fifth grader.

Crosslake Police Chief Bob Hartman said this is the first-ever lifesaving award he has presented to a citizen.

"I think that what he did was outstanding. Some kids don't respond real quickly to critical incidents, and he did. He didn't think about it, he just jumped in and did what was necessary to save his brother's life," Hartman said. "It's something special for Joey."

Joe said his son is a "man of action," and this isn't the first time he's ensured the safety of a family member. Two years ago, he noticed his young cousin, Haven, now 4, was about to go into the pool without her life jacket and then slipped on the stairs. Joey helped her out of the water.

"He's always looking out for his family, that's for sure," he said.

What makes Joey's rescue all the more special is it came almost exactly a year after Jimmy and twin brother Johnny became a part of the Anderson family. The Andersons adopted the twins from Haiti on Aug. 11, 2013, adding to their blended family of Joey and older sister JoJo, 11, who are also adopted, and sister Jada, 9, a biological daughter.

Chelsey Perkins

Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.

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