Sometimes it may seem as though game wardens’ only job duty protecting wildlife or protecting people from either attacking wildlife or being attacked by it. The truth is, being a game warden comes with much more responsibility.
On the February 14, 2017, a man called 911 and said that he was attempting to commit suicide in a heavily wooded region along the White River in Indianapolis. The call was routed to an Indiana conservation officer who took action to save the distressed man’s life.
When the suicidal man made the distress call at about 3 pm he was near White River, at the far Southwest section of Marion County. The closest individual to this region was Officer Nick Wilson. Upon getting the call, he immediately began looking for the man using his ATV. Dispatchers were able to give Officer Wilson as well as other officers in the area GPS information that would help narrow the search area.
The Department of Natural Resources noted that the distressed caller had been in and out of consciousness during the search. However, at some point, he became coherent enough to inform the dispatchers that he had heard Officer Wilson’s ATV and this helped the officer narrow his search, eventually finding him.
On finding the distressed individual, Officer Wilson found that he had already inflicted a deep cut on himself and was under a lot of distress. Wilson realized that the man was losing huge amounts of blood and fast and so resolved to first stop the bleeding by applying a tourniquet on the cut arm. Luckily this helped to stop the bleeding. It took around 20 more minutes before the rest of the emergency responders could find their way to the location where Wilson and the distressed man were.
As Wilson waited for help to arrive, he spent the 20 minutes calming down the victim and assuring him that all would be well. Even though the man was not in a position to respond to Wilson, he knew that he could hear him because he kept nodding his head. He also knew from his training that it was important to keep the man conscious as they waited for help to come their way.
Eventually, an Indian State Police helicopter with direct EMS landed at the location and the medics took the suicidal individual to Methodist Hospital for further treatment. Officer Wilson was applauded for his great job in finding the man and giving helping stop the bleeding which would have cost the man his life had it not been stopped in time.
In the five years that officer Wilson has been a game warden, he had never encountered such a case. However, he was able to handle the situation because he was trained for search eventualities. Game wardens first responder training prepares them for all kinds of situations and this just happens to be one of them. There is never a dull day in the life of a game warden.