St. George police officer hailed hero after saving man’s life

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ST. GEORGE, Utah -- A St George police officer is being heralded a hero after saving a man’s life Monday morning. The officer was off duty when he happened to hear the call, and jumped into action.

Officer Ken Childs said he was just doing his job.

Childs was on his way into work when driver called in reporting a man near an electrical substation on 2405 East with a rope around his neck.

“Hearing where everyone was coming from, I realized I was pretty close,” Childs said. “So I decided to respond.”

Once there, Childs found a man hanging from a fence, about 15 feet in the air, in what appeared to be a suicide attempt. Childs quickly got the man down and used his paramedic training to resuscitate the man.

“When it’s a call like this, where I know my training is going to come in handy. I like being able to respond and help out,” Childs said.

EMTs arrived and transported the man to Dixie Regional Medical Center. Childs said he was able to quickly respond because officers are allowed to take patrol cars home with them. While he doesn’t consider himself a hero, he does admit he was in the right place, at the right time.

“I’m no more a hero than anybody else who does what we do,” Childs said. “It’s what we do. We’re out there to help people, we want to help people.”

Local suicide prevention specialists are also applauding the quick action, on both the part of the officer and the caller. Southwest Behavioral Health Suicide Prevention Specialist Teresa Willie said they need more people to be aware of warning signs, and take the steps to report trouble.

“Someone was wise enough, aware enough, and willing to go ahead and call 911 and get someone on the scene,” Willie said. “And that really is critical.”

Southwest Behavioral Health offers community education classes in what they call QPR --Question, Persuade, Refer. It’s a method for friends and family to be more aware of what to look for in suicide prevention.

Additional suicide prevention resources can be found on the Southwest Behavioral Health website at http://www.southwestprevention.com/about/.

Those contemplating suicide can call toll free 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433).

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