Here is an interesting little backstory on the tragic drowning Saturday in the Boise River and the copper who was treated for heat stroke as a result of the hot response.
Chief Mike Masterson says, “We are extremely proud of the officers who responded. I’m told the updates from dispatch to officers included emotional appeals by friends to hurry.”
Because the river has few nearby bridges, one officer found himself on the “wrong” side and actually waded into the river chest high to get to the scene. Officer Mattie Chally, who was checked out at the hospital was the first to arrive at the end of willow lane and had to begin the difficult journey of following the river as she fought the thick underbrush as she headed west along the river.
No one could pinpoint to the first responders exactly where this emergency had occurred. Officer Chally had actually run down the river 700-900 feet and eventually past the location where our victim was and had to double back about 100 yards where she entered the water made it to the island where other officers were already on scene.
The exertion from an existing cold virus, 15 extra pounds of vest and gun belt while literally busting her butt to save another life were eventually too much on her system. She didn’t complain nor did she call it to others attention. The officer remained on the island subject to the intense heat until there was no further need for coppers. She was red in the face and sweating profusely. Despite the fact she wanted to cool down on her own, her sergeant ordered she be taken by a colleague in a patrol vehicle to a hospital to be medically checked out. She walked away from the scene under her own power. Turns out, she had a virus and the docs gave her fluids.
Turns out the lady copper wasn’t the only one to suffer during the ill fated rescue. Sergeant John Terry was maneuvering through the same thick brush and unexpectedly met up with a large family of wasps angry at being disturbed who proceeded to take out their frustration on his forearm. He too, continued on, committed to duty.
All weekend and today he sports a large bag of ice wrapped around the arm to reduce the swelling and alittle of the sting. Two other officers were also stung during the response.
“I applaud the initiative and perseverance of all officers who responded with the thought they could possibly save a life. I for one, am proud of her decision making and response to try and offer help to save this young man’s life. Sometimes we jeopardize our own safety for the well-being of others. In my book that’s an a for effort and I don’t second guess, for a minute, their decisions or actions,” said the Chief who referred to himself as, “A grateful coppers boss.”
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