Idaho State Police Sgt. Ed Westbrook was honored Thursday (March 25) and received the ISP "Life Saving Award" for his efforts during a Sept.19, 2009, incident.
While off duty preparing to hunt in the China Creek and Wapshilla Ridge area of Craig Mountain south of Lewiston, Westbrook came across vehicle tracks that led him to believe a vehicle had possibly gone off the road. Upon further investigating the suspicious tracks, he located crash debris down a steep embankment. That debris led to a crashed vehicle some 750 feet below the road.
Risking his own safety, Westbrook traversed down the steep embankment and found a deceased female and then determined there was another severely injured female further down the embankment.
He sent his wife to an area where emergency assistance could be summoned with a cell phone while he attended to the injured. Westbrook provided medical assistance, including water, to the injured female until EMS arrived. He also helped load the injured female into a rescue basket and helped carry her up the embankment while being pulled from the top with rescue ropes.
An injured male was also located several hundred yards below the crashed vehicle and Westbrook assisted with rescuing him as well. Risking his own safety, Westbrook traversed long distances up and down the steep embankment multiple times to assist in the rescue.
During this incident, Westbrook “exemplified a willingness to assist others with life saving measures at risk to his own safety. (He) utilized the skills he has obtained over many years as a law enforcement officer to recognize a potential crash and then take the necessary measures to render aid. Sgt. Westbrook demonstrated cohesiveness and leadership during the rescue of the injured and the recovery of the deceased,” according to ISP Detective Lt. Charlie Spencer.
It was determined the crash had occurred two days before Westbrook arrived at the scene. Had it not been for his actions, the injured male and female would have succumbed to their life-threatening injuries.
“Westbrook is not only a credit to the citizens of Idaho, but also a credit to the Idaho State Police,” Spencer said.
The award presentation is planned for 3 p.m. at the Idaho State Police office located at 2700 Frontage Road (North South Highway), Lewiston.