A man who helped keep a neighbor’s head from being submerged under water after the man’s lawnmower flipped on top of him in a drainage lateral was recognized as a hero Tuesday night by Amite Fire District 1.
John Cowart was presented a plaque for his efforts to save a neighbor along Airport Road this past August. The victim was also present for the award presentation and was visibly moved to be there with the firefighters and honored guests.
Amite Fire Chief Bruce Cutrer said Cowart literally helped cradle the victim’s head, keeping it elevated so that the man’s nose and mouth were above water until help could arrive.
Cutrer said the 800 pound tractor toppled over, pinning the man beneath it. He said that the two men had spoken earlier in the day with one promising to see the other soon. He said it was nothing short of a miracle that Cowart was able to respond so quickly and render aid until help could arrive.
Cutrer said that Cowart is a man of few words and he knew that he would not want any praise or ceremony for his act, but the department wanted to show their appreciation and recognize his heroism.
True to what Cutrer described, Cowart humbly accepted the award without saying a word. He put his hand on his neighbor's shoulder and returned to his seat with his wife Missy by his side. After the gathering, Cowart was called up front for pictures and was surrounded by the entire Amite Fire Department, the Fire District 1 Board of Directors, and the man he rescued.