Three UMF Cross Country/Track and Field athletes recognized by Maine State Senate

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FARMINGTON – Luke Bliss ‘24, Jimmy Reel ‘25, and Andrew LaFlamme ‘27 of the University of Maine at Farmington men’s cross country and men’s track and field teams were recognized and honored by the Maine State Senate this week for their heroic act in saving the life of a 77-year old woman on November 28.


From left: Elizabeth Pratt, a family member of the missing woman; Andrew Laflamme, James Reel, and Luke Bliss, UMF students; Kenneth Charles, Farmington Police Chief. (Annie Twitchell photo)


The three student-athletes were out for a seven-mile run, but decided to run an extra mile. Through the lengthening of their run, Bliss, Reel, and LaFlamme came across the woman laying on the ground outside of her car near UMF’s Fitness and Recreation Center. As the three approached the woman, they discovered that she had suffered a minor head injury, leaving her unable to get up. The trio wasted no time calling local authorities and going as far as to keep her warm and protected while also working with the dispatcher to provide first aid to the woman.

Once first responders arrived, they were able to transport the victim to the hospital where the woman was treated for her injuries. Given the low temperatures and the remote location of the incident, Farmington Police Chief Kenneth Charles went on record saying that the heroic act of these three student-athletes without a doubt saved her life.

Bliss, Reel, LaFlamme were awarded challenge coins from the Farmington Police Department as well as patches from the University of Maine at Farmington’s Campus Police back on December 7th.

Thursday, the trio was recognized at the state level for their act of heroism. Senator Russell Black of Franklin County invited the three student-athletes to the Maine State Senate meeting this morning to recognize and honor their terrific act of service. At the start of the meeting the President of the Maine Senate Troy Jackson called upon Senator Black to speak on behalf of Bliss, Reel, and LaFlamme. Senator Black echoed the incredible story and the three were awarded with an official expression of sentiment on behalf of the 131st Legislature signed by Jackson, Speaker of the House Rachel Ross, Secretary of the Senate Derek Grant, and Clerk of the House Robert Hunt.

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