Officer Stacer of the Saginaw, Michigan, Police Department, headed out on a bitterly cold day for his payroll duties. Along with his partner, Officer Engelhart, he began making his normal rounds.
After the events that followed while these two were on the job, these two men are being recognized as heroes.
The temperature that day was one degree with a windchill in the negatives digits. Officer Stacer had decided to drive with his window cracked, a decision that ended up saving a life.
As they were patrolling, Stacer heard a scream. The officers immediately pulled over and parked their car, opting to search the area.
They left their car in the freezing weather, listening for an indication of where the scream had come from. Unfortunately, they heard nothing more.
They decided to search under a nearby bridge and that is where they found a woman, face-down.
According to the department’s Facebook post, “Immediately upon exiting their patrol vehicle’s the officers located a female face down in the fetal position approximately 7-15 feet out on the ice (between bank line and bridge pillar) but now not making any sounds.”
The woman’s body temperature had dipped to 85 degrees, well below the normal temperature of 98.6. She seemed to be intoxicated and was not dressed for the weather at all.
Hypothermia can begin to take hold of a person at just 95 degrees, the department noted. So this woman was well on her way to a bitterly cold end.
The officers pulled her from the ice and noticed that her breathing was shallow. She appeared red and unresponsive. There was no indication how long she had been there.
“Had it not been for Officer Stacer driving through the area with his windows cracked down and then determining where the initial yelling was at, the female might not have survived the night’s temperatures,” stated the department’s Facebook post.
The woman had no other way of communicating that she was in trouble, and it was unlikely anyone else would have found her.
Thank goodness for these brave and smart officers. It is probable that had the car window been rolled up, the woman would have died from hypothermia.
Because her body was not visible to street traffic, there would have been no way to know that she was even there had it not been for her scream.
A partially opened car window and a pair of good ears saved one woman’s life.
Both officers have been recognized for outstanding police work — and now you know why police sometimes keep their windows cracked open: to help keep you safe.
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