The Illinois Fire Inspectors Association presented its 2019 Youth Hero Award to Plainfield North High School senior Scott Arya for saving three teen girls while jet skiing last spring.
Arya received the honor on September 27, 2019 at the IFIA’s 2019 Fire Prevention Week Awards ceremony.
Arya was vacationing in Madeira Beach, Florida in March with his mom Terry. He rented a jet ski for the first time ever, took a quick lesson and licensing test and was ready to hit the water.
The 17-year-old was headed out to the Gulf of Mexico when he saw some fisherman waving their arms to get his attention.
He quickly noticed three teenage girls struggling in the water about 100 feet from the shore. They were caught in a riptide.
Arya sped over to the girls and pulled two of the girls to the shore, then went back to get the third girl.
“I didn’t think too much about it,” he said. “I feel that if any other person was in that situation, they would have done the same thing.”
The IFIA also presented a Youth Hero Award to 2018 Plainfield South High School graduate Makenzie Vargo for her lifesaving action during the DARE pool party at the Plainfield Park District’s Ottawa Street Pool.
Vargo noticed a child in distress after jumping off the diving board and immediately took action to assist the child.