Oregon State Marine Board
Oregon State Police Troopers Honored for Saving Lives and Trooper of the Year
The Oregon State Marine Board recognized several Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers for their outstanding job performance and lifesaving efforts during the 2010 boating season at the Marine Board's annual Marine Law Enforcement Conference held in Bend, on October 16.
Senior Trooper Martin Maher from Oakridge, was recognized with the "Trooper of the Year Award." Senior Trooper Maher conducted 182 boat examination reports, issued 20 citations and 57 warnings relating to boating safety. "Thank you for all your hard work and dedication keeping people safe," said Scott Brewen, Director of the Marine Board.
Two troopers, who are also brothers, were honored with special lifesaving awards. Senior Troopers Marshall and Martin Maher from OSP Oakridge, continually set the standard for 'protecting and serving' the public. On July 25, 2010, the Maher brothers were assisting firefighters by transporting equipment and fire personnel in their patrol boat to combat a fire near the McKenzie River. The two troopers observed two males pinned in a strainer, unable to free themselves. Fortunately, both males were wearing life jackets and their heads were above water. The troopers were able to safely remove the victims from the strainer and lift them into the patrol boat. Emergency services were contacted and the victims were transported to a local hospital for evaluation and treated for exposure.
But this was only the beginnning of a very long day for the Maher brothers. After finally delivering the firefighting equipment and personnel to a fire zone, another call came in about a woman who had a seizure while recreating on the McKenzie River. Her friends were able to safely get the victim to shore, but she continued to seize. The troopers swiftly responded to the location and after making sure the victim was stabilized, coordinated emergency services transportation for the woman and her friends back to the boat launch.
"Congratulations to Senior Troopers Marshall and Martin Maher for a job well done," said Brewen, as he presented the awards.
In another incident on May 20, 2010, Trooper Marvin Ritter was dispatched to the John Day River and upon arrival, he observed a partially submerged vehicle with a 90-year old man struggling to hold on. Ritter donned his life jacket, secured a line and was able to get to the victim in the swollen, fast moving current. He was able to get a life jacket on the victim and explain what was going to happen while onshore emergency responders were preparing to pull both men to safety.
"Trooper Ritter's quick, clear and decisive action, backed by the swift water rescue training provided a real life safer for this lucky victim," said Brewen. "The victim was taken to the hospital, treated for exposure and released the next day." In addition to this award, Trooper Ritter received the coveted OSP "Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award."
For more information about the Marine Board's law enforcement boating safety partnerships and programs, visit www.boatoregon.com