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La. EMT rescues 3 women trapped in floodwater

EMT Pearce Copeland said it was pure luck he came across the women while trying to get to his station


A Balentine Ambulance Service ambulance.

Baletine Ambulance Service/Facebook

By Bill Carey

SHREVEPORT, La. — Balentine Ambulance EMT Pearce Copeland was in the right place at the right time during his shift when he and his partner encountered three women stranded in floodwaters.

“I didn’t think anybody was in the cars, and I didn’t think they would stay in there,” Copeland told KTSB. “I saw someone’s hand wave out of the first car to the right, and that’s when I looked to my partner. I was like, ‘I think there’s somebody in there.’”

Even though water rescues aren’t something Copeland usually does, he didn’t hesitate to take action to get to the first car, KTSB reported

Copeland recounted that the woman in the first car told him she couldn’t swim and couldn’t open her door. He calmly responded, “‘Okay, ma’am, you’re going to have to go to the window. I’ll help you out.’”

After rescuing the first woman, Copeland heard yelling from another car. He managed to rescue the driver, who informed him that a passenger, paralyzed on the left side of her body, was drowning.

“She was able to talk to me, but in between gurgling water,” Copeland said. He told her, “‘I’m going to count to three, hold your breath, and I’m going to help your head under the lip.’ I got her in my arms, and I started to carry her to the ambulance.”

After rescuing the women, Copeland gained a new perspective on flooded roads and stressed the importance of avoiding driving through them.