GILBERT, Ariz - Last Thursday, Gilbert paramedic Ernie Magoffie was headed to a water rescue call at a canal near Greenfield and Warner roads.
The call said that a person was injured after a scooter he was riding in had rolled into the canal.
When Magoffie and his crew, Gilbert Fire Engine 256, arrived at the scene, they found two people: the patient and Gilbert police officer Jim Dana.
Dana had jumped into the canal and was keeping the patient's head above water, according to an email from Magoffie.
The officer stayed in the water, helping keep the patient calm and working to get him to a ladder that the fire/medical team had lowered into the water.
Because of medical issues the patient was unable to get his feet up to the bottom rung of the ladder, so Dana helped him reach and the group used the ladder as a fulcrum to get the man out of the canal.
The patient was transported to a hospital for a knee injury and hypothermia, according to Magoffie. But Dana's actions helped ensure things weren't any worse for the patient -- Magoffie even said he thinks the patient may have died if it weren't for the officer.
"The actions of Officer Dana need to be recognized as I am certain the outcome of our patient would have most definitely been a recovery instead of a save," Magoffie wrote to Gilbert PD, asking Dana's coworkers to give him a huge hug and noting that if he visits the firefighters at Gilbert Station 6, there will be ice cream waiting for him.
Dana's sergeant, Paula Krueger, wrote back to say she wasn't surprised by her officer's heroism.
"Detective Dana is the real deal," she wrote. "It is no surprise to me that he would place himself in a dangerous situation to save a life. He has served the Gilbert Police Department for over 20 years."
Congrats to Officer Dana and Engine 256 on a successful save, and hopefully a celebratory ice cream sundae!