November 18, 2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Photograph link valid 30 days (Left to right: Sergeant Randall and Senior Trooper Frerichs)
An Oregon State Police sergeant and senior trooper from the Roseburg Area Command office were honored Friday night by the Oregon Peace Officers Association (OPOA) with the "Life Saving Award" for their compassionate response in February to find a lost, hypothermic man who wandered around in cold, snowy conditions for two days in northeast Douglas County.
The OPOA held its annual Awards Banquet November 16, 2012 at Spirit Mountain Casino and announced the presentation of special awards to several individuals. One of the awards, the "Life Saving Award", may be presented to individuals who, while serving in an official capacity with their law enforcement agency, perform an active, distinct and successful lifesaving of another human being. Two recipients of the OPOA "Life Saving Award" were OSP Sergeant Dave Randall and Senior Trooper Don Frerichs.
On February 8, 2012 at approximately 3:00 p.m., Sergeant Randall and Senior Trooper Frerichs found a 37-year old hypothermic man in a wooded area north of Highway 138E in northeast Douglas County. Two days prior, the man fled on foot from a non-injury traffic crash and wearing only a fleece jacket, shorts, and sandals. After responding to the initial crash, Sergeant Randall, Senior Trooper Frerichs and another trooper followed tracks in foot-deep snow about a mile but discontinued due to darkness.
Convinced the man was still in the wilderness area and concerned for his physical well-being, Sergeant Randall and Senior Trooper Frerichs returned the morning of February 8th and started searching again. After nearly six hours of searching on foot and snowmobiles, they found the man lying on the ground covered with tree branches and provided him with food and water before transporting him back to the highway. They met an ambulance and the man was transported to a Roseburg-area hospital for medical treatment.
"Due to their stamina, courage, and unwillingness to let this situation fall through the cracks, Sergeant Randall and Senior Trooper Frerichs saved this man's life," said Lieutenant Doug Ladd, OSP Roseburg Area Commander. "The compassion they showed to this military veteran who was suffering from a mental condition was a true sign of their professionalism and concern for his welfare."
Additional information regarding this lifesaving incident is available on the OSP website at:
Sergeant Randall, age 50, is assigned as a Patrol Sergeant and has worked for OSP for nearly 14 years.
Senior Trooper Frerichs, age 47, is assigned in the Fish & Wildlife Division and has worked for OSP for 24 years.