My Tribute to Robert Fick, A True Hero
By Richard Mabey Jr.
One of the most cherished articles that I have ever written consists of only three paragraphs. It appeared on the front page of the October 1984 edition of Boy Scout Troop 170’s newspaper, “The Scouting Journal.” The story was about Senior Scout Bobby Fick and his heroism to save a woman from bleeding to death.
I was serving as Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 170 at the time that Bobby Fick’s cool head and first-aid knowledge saved a woman’s life. It all happened in the early autumn of 1984. Bobby was walking home from school and witnessed an auto accident. A lady in the accident was severely cut in her arm. Bobby acted with a cool head, remained calm and applied direct pressure above the deep cut. He then applied bandages to the wound. At the immediate moment after the car collision, Bobby was the only person in sight. The bottom line is that Bobby Fick saved the woman’s life!
My dad, who was Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 170, was incredibly impressed with Bobby Fick’s heroism. So much so, that Dad contacted some of the top big wheels of the Morris-Sussex Area Boy Scout Council and bragged to the end of the earth about Bobby’s heroism. The professional scouters were also impressed.
Dad filled out the proper paperwork for Bobby Fick to receive the Boy Scout Honor Medal for Saving Life. This award is a very prestigious award for a scout to receive. It is estimated that only one in 10,000 scouts earn this award. It is awarded by the Boy Scout National Court of Honor.
Things were looking very good for Bobby Fick to receive this high honor. One of the top executives of the Morris-Sussex Council had telephoned a top official of the Boy Scouts of America, at the national headquarters in Texas, about Bobby’s heroism. The word was that this National Scout Executive was impressed with Bobby’s heroism of saving this woman’s life. Things looked very good for Bobby to receive the Boy Scout Honor Medal for Saving Life.
As a side note, it is important to note that a lot of the scouts who receive this award get a full-page write up in scouting’s national monthly magazine, “Boys’ Life.” This was no small potatoes thing, this was a big deal!
I remember this moment so very well. It was at one of our Friday night scout meetings at Thorpe Hall at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Dad proudly showed Bobby the paperwork for the Honor Medal for Saving Life. Dad explained to Bobby that this was a very high honor and that there would be a very good chance that Bobby would be the focus of a full page story in “Boys’ Life” magazine. What followed, amazed me, impressed me, and only increased my high respect for this good scout.
I don’t think I will ever forget this moment. Bobby looked Dad square in the eye and earnestly thanked him for all that Dad did for him to be considered for this high award. But in sincere humility Bobby said, “saving that woman’s life was reward enough. I really don’t want to make a big deal of it.”
I remember how impressed my dad was with Bobby’s response. For Bobby Fick had turned down the golden opportunity to receive one of scouting’s very high awards. Not only that, Bobby also turned down the chance to be the star of “The True Story of Scouts in Action,” one of the regular features of “Boys’ Life” magazine.
Needless to say, Bobby also turned down a number of local newspapers that wanted to write a big feature story about Bobby’s heroism. I still remember the hard time that he gave me when I told him that I was determined to write a short article about his heroism, for our scout troop’s newspaper, “The Scouting Journal.”
Thirty years have come and go since that moment in time. I still keep in touch with Robert Fick. Today, he is a fine young man. He most recently was close to making the Guinness Book of World Records for breaking a record in the game of darts. From time to time, I still find myself reflecting on Robert’s heroism and his true humility about being a hero. Robert Fick still inspires me.
Peace and harmony,