Maine police chiefs honor Caribou officer for risking life to save drowning woman

5 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — The Maine Chiefs of Police Association presented Caribou Officer Erick Bechtel with a Life Saving Award on Feb. 8 for risking his life last May to save a woman drowning in Caribou Stream.

According to a release from Caribou Police Chief Michael Gahagan, Bechtel responded to a walk-in complaint that a “female was underwater in the Caribou Stream,” located just below the station. After noting that she was not responding to his voice, Bechtel jumped into the water with all of his gear and pulled her to safety before members of the Caribou Fire and Ambulance Department arrived.

The Maine Chiefs of Police Association recently presented its Life Saving Award to Officer Erick Bechtel of the Caribou Police Department for rescuing a drowning woman in dangerously cold water.
(Courtesy of Caribou Police Department)

“The temperature of the water and the danger to himself was not a thought on his mind when he arrived at the scene,” Gahagan wrote.

Rescue personnel subsequently transported the woman, who was not identified, to the hospital for evaluation. Gahagan wrote that Bechtel’s efforts “saved this woman’s life.”

“He went above and beyond the call of duty,” the chief wrote. “His service to the citizens of Caribou is appreciated.”