The Shinnston News & Harrison County Journal has named Fisher Rector as July’s Citizen of the Month, a program sponsored by Dorsey Funeral Home in Shinnston – locally owned & operated.
By TRINA RUNNER
News & Journal Staff Writer
Typically, a teenager’s first job might prepare him for dealing with customer complaints, cleaning up messes or how to properly fold clothes. For Fisher Rector, however, it prepared him to save a life.
Entering his senior year at Bridgeport High School, Rector had only 10 days worth of experience as a lifeguard at Oral Lake when he left for a school trip to Spain. While there, he was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea when a fellow student began to struggle.
“She became too weak to swim to shore and began to float,” said chaperone and teacher Jenny Santilli. “I asked my colleague Alicia Kidd to get Fisher Rector. He ran to the aid of the student, swimming against the current to save her.”
The true test of a hero is how he or she acts when faced with a challenge. Rector proved to be brave and selfless in the face of danger and ultimately rescued a fellow student without regard to himself.
The training that sprang into action in the incident went way beyond his Red Cross training required for his lifeguard position. It also incorporated his extensive background in scouting, where he has had the opportunity to participate in activities all over the world.
He has participated in treks at all four Boy Scout high adventure bases in America and has attended two National Scout Jamborees, including one in Japan. He also completed the Scout’s National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience training, helping him put into action the Boy Scout motto of “be prepared.”
In addition to lifeguarding, Rector is also an active member of the BHS Cross Country Team, the Academic Team and serves as Treasurer of the Spanish Club. He was recently inducted into the National Honor Society and competes with the BHS Academic Team, with academic lamps and letters among his accolades.
The son of Larry Rector and Amy Smith, Rector’s upbringing has been the most significant factor in his reaction to the incident in Spain. Although he had been trained to save lives for his job and had survival skills ingrained with scouts, ultimately it was his kindness and generosity that showed through when the challenge arose. Those values are evident in a family who raised him and his brother Raymond with a sense of responsibility and commitment to helping others.