Trooper awarded for saving kayaker's life

From Local Sources

Three troopers from the Jasper Post received awards for their service Friday, including Trooper Kaitlyn Greene who helped save a kayaker from drowning as he was being pulled into a culvert.

Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter presented Greene with a Life Saving Award for her role in saving the Spencer County man from drowning in February.

Greene

Greene is a Spencer County native and three-year veteran of the Indiana State Police. She graduated from the 74th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy in 2014 and was assigned to the Jasper Post to patrol primarily Spencer County.

Greene also serves on the South Zone Dive Team as an Underwater Search and Rescue Diver.

In February, Greene was patrolling Orchard Road near Spencer County Road 400N when she was frantically waved down by the wife of a kayaker who was nearly submerged underwater and clinging to a metal culvert pipe.

It was very much a case of the right person being at the right place at the right time.

Greene had spent the first part of the day doing pool training at Pike Central High School. She was closing out her shift patrolling flooded areas and specifically steered toward the area east of Richland City.

“I honestly expected a crash in that area just because it’s such a bad area with all of the water and everything,” Greene said.

The husband and wife she encountered had been kayaking in an open field that was flooded, police said. Because of the tremendous amount of recent rainfall, the husband’s kayak was swept through a nearby culvert. He was able to grab the top of the pipe before he was swept underwater and through the culvert, police said.

“His wife was getting worried because she couldn’t lift him out,” Greene said today. “She said she just kept praying for something to happen and then, she said, ‘I turned around and you showed up.’”

Police reported the kayaker was clinging to life when Greene arrived, only able to keep his head and arms above water. The kayaker’s legs and upper torso at this point were submerged underwater and inside the culvert.

Greene, who had her underwater search and rescue gear with her, quickly grabbed her life jacket and water rescue throw bag. She initially tried to place her only life jacket on the victim, but was unsuccessful. Because of the speed of the current, the victim was barely able to hold onto the pipe with both hands. Greene was ultimately able to secure her throw bag rope under the victim’s armpits and around his back.

Greene was becoming concerned that the victim would not be able to hold onto the culvert much longer as he showed signs of fatigue. Fortunately, police said, two unknown motorists who were passing by stopped to assist Greene. She instructed one citizen to hold the rope attached to the victim while she pulled the kayaker from the pipe and to safety. The second good Samaritan held onto Greene so she wouldn’t fall headfirst into the water.

Greene treated the victim at the scene for cold water exposure while Spencer County Emergency Medical Services personnel were en route. The victim was treated and released.

Two other troopers from the Jasper Post also received awards Friday.

Allen

Trooper Michael Allen received the Trooper of the District Award for the Jasper Post and the Trooper of the Year Award for the Indiana State Police.

Allen is an Orange County native and five-year veteran of the Indiana State Police. He graduated from the 72nd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy on December 12th, 2012.

After graduating, Allen was assigned to the Jasper Post where he patrols primarily Orange County.

In addition to his patrol duties, Allen serves as a Hostage Crisis Negotiator, Honor Guard Rifleman, Field Training Officer, Clandestine Lab Technician and is a former member of the Tactical Intervention Platoon.

Allen is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Ewing

Trooper Noah Ewing with the Jasper District received the Top OWI Award for his efforts in keeping Indiana roadways safe by apprehending 70 impaired drivers in 2017.

Ewing is a Pennsylvania native and two-year veteran of the Indiana State Police. He graduated from the 75th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy in November of 2015.

After graduating, Ewing was assigned to the Jasper Post where he patrolled primarily Orange County.

Ewing was recently selected to serve on the Jasper District All Crimes Policing Team, which focuses on criminal and traffic interdiction.

 

 




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