A chilling incident in Vermont saw a local state police officer dive into frosty waters to save an 8-year-old child who was at the brink of drowning. Captured on video, the rescue act carried out by Trooper Michelle Archer was released to the public by the Vermont State Police on a Friday, subsequent to the occurrence on December 17th. Archer later relayed the incident to the Vermont News First, a community media outlet.
The child, alongside a sibling, had been near or directly on the frozen surface of a privately owned pond in their residential vicinity when suddenly, the ice failed them. Not far away, an elderly neighbour, lacking the ability to swim, had managed to secure the sibling from the icy grip of the water, just moments before Archer appeared on the scene.
Calling upon the tools of her trade, Archer made use of a flotation device stowed away in the trunk of her patrol car. She wielded the device to haul the child out of the frigid waters and onto the snowy bank at the water’s edge.
Once the child had been brought onto dry land, faint sounds could be heard emanating from her. These subtle yet significant signs of life caught the attention of Archer and her police comrades, indicating that the child was, albeit barely, still amongst the living.
NEW: Vermont State Police trooper heroically saves an 8-year old girl from a freezing cold pond after she fell through the ice.
Vermont State trooper Michelle Archer was seen on footage plunging into the freezing pond to rescue the child.
The girl’s 6-year old sibling… pic.twitter.com/SblTQiBrMd
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) January 13, 2024
Without pausing for breath, Trooper Keith Cote, Archer’s fellow constable on the scene, received the child from her and immediately began applying critical first aid procedures. This swift action unfolded while they awaited the arrival of additional professional medical assistance. Swift yet stern, Cote’s actions were an indispensable factor in the race against the clock to save the child’s life.
When medical first responders eventually descended upon the site, they quickly took over from Cote, transferring the child onto a mobile stretcher and rushing her into an ambulance. With lights flashing and sirens wailing, the ambulance departed, heading straight for the closest hospital.
Providing the best medical care possible, the staff at the University of Vermont Medical Center worked tirelessly to ensure the child’s full recovery. After numerous sleepless nights and relentless care, their commitment bore fruit when the child was discharged, completely recovered, after a few days.
In the aftermath of this nerve-racking event, Archer, Cote, and the elderly landowner, who had played an indispensable role in the initial rescue, were accoladed for their exemplary conduct. Their quick thinking, bravery, and commitment to safeguarding lives had catalyzed a successful rescue, ensuring a dire situation was prevented from spiralling into an unspeakable tragedy.
The Vermont State Police extended their commendation to the trio for their exceptional conduct. Displaying commendable bravery and unyielding determination, they were rightfully awarded the state police’s Lifesaving Award. A well-deserved recognition, this award served as a testament to their unwavering devotion to the safety and betterment of their community.
In essence, the accomplishments of these three indomitable individuals illustrate the power of collective effort and quick decision-making when faced with high-stakes, perilous situations. Archer, Cote, and the property owner’s remarkable work on that frigid December day have left an indelible mark on the Vermont community.
The successful rescue operation underpins the critical role first responders and police officers such as Archer and Cote play in our community. Their swift on-the-ground decisions and impactful actions demonstrate the importance of their training and underline the crucial role they play in preserving human lives. The averting of a potential tragedy underlines this.
Similarly, the valor exhibited by the elderly property owner underscores the importance of conscientiousness amongst citizens. His timely intervention, despite his inability to swim, underscores the role that a vigilant community plays in ensuring the safety of its members.
Ultimately, the harrowing incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictability of nature and the importance of safety when near frozen water bodies. While the child’s complete recovery is indeed fortunate, more care and caution are urged in the future. The collective sigh of relief the community breathed upon learning of the child’s recovery is a poignant testament to the near-disaster that was averted.