This morning at the Rock Community Fire Protection District board meeting, the Bronze Medal of Valor was presented to Firefighter Kris Stoffregen for his quick thinking and action to save the life of a hypothermic victim from drowning on January 5th of 2021. A detailed report of the incident can be found below:On January 5th, 7154 was dispatched to a “Drowning with Rescue” in the Apple Valley Subdivision. Dispatch advised an elderly male had driven his power wheelchair into a swimming pool. Air temperature at the time of dispatch was just above 40 degrees.Upon arrival, 7154 located a conscious 83 year-old male strapped into his power wheelchair resting on the tarp covering the pool. The victim’s entire body was underwater except for his eyes, nose, and mouth and had been underwater for approximately 7 minutes.Without hesitation and without regard for his own safety, Firefighter Stoffregen quickly jumped into the pool, submerging himself up to his chest in the frigid water. Stoffregen grabbed the victim and his wheelchair, stopping him from going further under the water as the pool tarp began to tear away.The strap holding the victim into the wheelchair was cut using trauma shears and the victim was freed. With the assistance of the rest of the crew and BC, the subject was lifted and removed from the water.Without the quick thinking and action of Firefighter Stoffregen, the hypothermic victim may have drowned when the pool tarp gave away with him strapped into his chair. Firefighter Stoffregen demonstrated unusual personal risk and performed in the highest tradition of the fire service, putting his safety before that of the victim.
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