ADAMS -- 2013 was but an hour old before the Adams Alert Hose Co. was called to action at 1:04 a.m. on Tuesday, and its first response of the year may have saved a life.
Fire Chief Paul Goyette says first responders pulled a man by rope from a spillway in the Hoosac River flood chute off Glenn and Commercial streets at that time.
The man, who's name was not released and won't face charges, had been standing a foot-and-a-half deep in frigid waters and calling for help.
Time elapsed from call to rescue was 19 minutes, Goyette said.
"I was pretty proud of the time from dispatch and getting him out," he said. "... He was up against the side of the wall [in the spillway] and [responding firefighters] dropped a rope for him to tie around himself. We then cut the chain link fence that protects the flood control chute, and two firefighters in cold water suits got him out using a ladder."
Adams Ambulance Service Inc. then transported the man to North Adams Regional Hospital.
"He was admitted to the hospital for hypothermia," Sgt. Richard Tarsa of the Adams Police Department [APD] said Tuesday. "The last we heard he was stabilized and doing better."
Tarsa said the man was disoriented and "not making sense" after the rescue, but that other APD officers at the station Tuesday claimed "he went down there to retrieve his cell phone that he'd dropped."
-- Phil Demers