Archive for Sunday, April 26, 2009

Firefighter rescues Tonganoxie woman from creek

April 26, 2009

A Tonganoxie woman who thought she heard someone yelling for help near Tonganoxie Creek had to be rescued from the water after falling in herself.

Tonganoxie City Fire Capt. Moe McCutchen said he arrived on the scene after hearing a dispatch call, which came in about 10:45 p.m. Saturday stating someone possibly had fallen in the creek. McCutchen said when he came upon the creek, he saw the woman fall into the creek. He estimated she fell about 6 to 8 feet from the creek’s bank into the water.

Water was above its normal level in the creek, as Tonganoxie was included in a flash flood warning until 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

The woman, whom McCutchen said was Tonganoxie resident Bonnie Sivyer, was clinging to a branch while in the water when he jumped into rescue her.

McCutchen didn’t have any rescue equipment with him in the water, which he said was about chest-deep where he rescued Sivyer and about 5-6 feet deep in the middle of the creek.

McCutchen said he thought nothing of jumping in the creek to rescue Sivyer.

“It had to be done,” he said. “It’s all I could do.

The rescue happened near the walking bridge that crosses the creek just southeast of Tonganoxie High School.

The woman received medical attention from Leavenworth County Emergency Medical Service, McCutchen said, and was released.

Tonganoxie City Fire Chief Dave Bennett said it was thought Sivyer, who lives near the creek, heard someone calling for help from the creek.

Following up on the original 911 call that someone might have fallen in the creek, Leavenworth County Water Rescue and fellow Tonganoxie City and Reno Township firefighters searched areas along the creek from behind THS east to Evans Road, but firefighters didn’t actually get in the water to search, said Tonganoxie Fire Chief Dave Bennett.

“Right now we feel like we don’t have enough information to put people in this creek,” Bennett said.

Firefighters were stationed with spotlights at various places along the creek and discontinued their search about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

The water rescue team consists of firefighters from various fire departments throughout Leavenworth County.

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