Huron, Sumpter officers commended for saving suicidal man’s life


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
Posted May 30, 2019 — 9:30 AM EST 

Public safety staff in Huron and Sumpter Township were commended Wednesday for their response to a call of a suicidal man who had locked himself inside his pole barn with his vehicle running.

On Wednesday, the Huron Township Police Department received a 911 call reporting a 49-year-old suicidal man in the 19000 block of Clark Road.

The caller said the man was attempting suicide after calling a family member to say goodbye.

The caller said the suicidal man was locked inside a pole barn near the house with his vehicle running.

Upon hearing the call and recognizing the severity of the incident, Sumpter Township Officers Joe Balowski and Chris Herrick responded to assist Huron Township Sgt. Jon Bettendorf and Officers Ahmed Kassem and Crystal Niewiadomski, who were already on scene.

“I first want to thank and commend Sumpter Township Public Safety Director Eric Luke, along with his staff, for their support and commitment to the partnership that we have developed between our two public safety organizations. With that partnership, we are very fortunate to have the ability to share radio communications with the Sumpter Township Police Department,” said Everette Robbins, Huron Township director of public safety.

Officers from both departments could immediately tell that the pole barn door was locked and there was a vehicle running inside, and there was no ventilation for the dangerous exhaust fumes.

At first, officers attempted to enter the barn by calling out to the man to open the doors.

When he didn’t respond, police attempted to make entry into the barn, but the attempt was unsuccessful because to the door was reinforced.

“Showing quick thinking and leadership, Sgt. Bettendorf retrieved the RAM from his patrol vehicle and once again announced to the suicidal subject that they would be making entry,” Robbins said.

Bettendorf then used the RAM to enter the barn.

“A RAM is a device that assists us with a dynamic entry. It is used to make quick entry when no other options exist,” Robbins said.

Once inside, the man was found unconscious from inhaling carbon monoxide.

The Huron Township Fire Department and Huron Valley Ambulance responded and treated both the man and the officers for exposure to elevated carbon monoxide levels.

The man was transported to a local hospital and is expected to recover, and no other injuries were reported during the incident.

“Due to your efforts, the suicidal individual was transported to the hospital where he can begin to receive the necessary treatment to return him to a happy and healthy life,” Robbins said.

“Today’s police officer is often in peril, risking life and limb in his or her dedication to the public. I want to thank each of you for acting decisively and quickly, even placing yourself in serious danger to help this individual before he could take his own life.”

Read the entire letter of commendation at this link

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