First Responders

New York State Police Trooper Credits Marine Corps Training for Rescue

September 14, 2022Joshua Skovlund

Francis Rush is a Gunnery Sgt. in the Marine Corps Forces Reserve and is a full-time Trooper with the New York State Police. Photos courtesy of Francis Rush. Composite image by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.

The New York State Police know him as Trooper Francis "Frank" Rush, but the troops in "Wild Goose" — Marine Corps Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 774 — call him gunnery sergeant.

Now both can tag him as a hero, too. Officials credit Rush with yanking an unconscious driver out of a Fishkill pond on Aug. 17.

Rush told Coffee or Die Magazine in the moment he “just reverted back to my Marine Corps training” as a V-22 Osprey aircrew member at his North Carolina-based squadron.

He downplayed the rescue as “just second nature to me to go ahead and do what I needed to do in order to get out there and try to get this guy out of the vehicle.”

Marine Corps

On Aug. 17, 2022, New York State Police Trooper Frank Rush, from Troop K, arrived at a pond along Westgate Drive in the town of Fishkill, where a driver had been reported trapped in a submerged car. Still from a New York State Police bodycam.

When Rush arrived at the accident, bystanders were shouting for the trooper to save the driver.

He recalled securing his pistol belt in the police cruiser and grabbing a rope and a window punch before rushing toward the water, remembering to flip on his body-worn camera during his sprint.

The trooper told Coffee or Die he saw a citizen treading water near the submerged car, a man he later found out was Anthony Rendell. Rush handed the rope to a bystander on shore and splashed into the pond.

The camera captures the murky green water, his body churning through algae, pondweeds, and milfoil, and then his grip on the lid of the black sedan’s trunk just as it dips below the surface.

Marine Corps

From left, Gunnery Sgt. Francis Rush, Sgt. Brandon Case, and Sgt. Maj. Zachary Richardson pose before a crew briefing while supporting Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Africa in June 2020. Photo courtesy of Francis Rush.

The footage reveals Rush thrashing in the water, the pond plants swirling around him. He remembers trying to spear his punch through the car’s rear window, but he didn’t think he had enough force on it to pierce the glass.

The car continued to sink to the bottom, probably about 15 feet down, and then a large bubble of air blossomed along the pond’s surface.

Rush recalled that he and Rendell looked at each other, bewildered. And then the driver came bobbing up.

Marine Corps

On Aug. 17, 2022, New York State Police Trooper Frank Rush, from Troop K, dove into a pond along Westgate Drive in the town of Fishkill, where a driver had been reported trapped in a submerged car. Still from a New York State Police bodycam.

“We were like, 'Oh!' as the body was coming to the top there,” Rush said. “It was definitely a relief, to say the least, because Plan B and Plan C was still being formulated in my mind. Whether it be a rock from the shoreline to dive down and break a window, or something else.”

Rush gripped the man and began swimming with him in tow to shore. About 15 feet from the edge of the pond, the trooper called for the rope from the bystander. Then the trooper, the bystander, and Rendell tugged him to land.

In the muck, the driver sprawled on his back and then spumed water from his airway before beginning to breathe on his own.

“A sigh of relief and just, like, ‘Wow! What just happened?’” Rush said. “You know, it's a first experience for me for sure.”

Marines undergo water survival training at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, July 28, 2015. US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Neysa Huertas Quinones.

Arriving paramedics rushed the driver to a nearby hospital.

But it wasn’t the first time in his life that Rush had been thrown into underwater chaos.

He spent eight years on active duty in the US Marine Corps before he became a reservist, so his interview with Coffee or Die was peppered with talk about the “dunk tank” and “SWET chair,” the kind of training Marines and sailors routinely undergo so that they don’t die at sea.

“As they say, ‘The water is the greatest equalizer. You have to remain calm and cool in the water,” Rush said.

Read Next: WATCH: Taliban ‘Pilot’ Successfully Flies American Black Hawk Straight Into Ground

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
‘On Tour In Hell’: Wounded Ukrainian Soldiers Evacuated

With bandaged heads and splinted limbs, the wounded soldiers are stretchered into the waiting medica...

March 27, 2023Associated Press
F-15 Strike Eagles
US Launches Airstrikes in Syria After Drone Kills US Worker

While it’s not the first time the U.S. and Iran have traded airstrikes in Syria, the attack and the ...

March 24, 2023Associated Press
The Gift jason dunham
‘The Gift’ Explores the Life and Legacy of Medal of Honor Recipient Jason Dunham

"The Gift" tells the story of the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor after the Vietnam War. ...

March 24, 2023Mac Caltrider
uss milius
US Denies Chinese Claim It Drove Away American Destroyer

The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said that a statement from China's Southern Theatre Command that it had fo...

March 23, 2023Associated Press
The Speed Project: Vet Team To Run in Lawless, Invite-Only Ultramarathon

For the first time, a team of (mostly) US veterans and active-duty service members will run in The S...

March 23, 2023Jenna Biter
uranium-based ammo ammunition Ukraine UK depleted uranium
A Look At the Uranium-Based Ammo the UK Will Send to Ukraine

The British defense ministry on Monday confirmed it would provide Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.

March 23, 2023Associated Press
Zaporizhzhia Ukraine Russia
Ukraine: Russia Hits Apartments and Dorm, Killing Civilians

“Russia is shelling the city with bestial savagery,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote in a Telegr...

March 22, 2023Associated Press
cold brew coffee soda float
The Bitter Barista's Cold Brew Coffee Soda Float

Today, we combine the best of both worlds with this indulgent recipe, smashing together our love of coffee and ice cream with a cold brew coffee soda float!

March 21, 2023Heather Lynn
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved