Washington County sheriff’s Sgt. Aaron Thompson speaks at a press conference in Hurricane, Utah, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, following his rescue of an 8-year-old boy who fell into an icy pond in New Harmony on Monday. Authorities have not offered details about the boy’s condition but Thompson said at a news conference Tuesday that deputies were hopeful for the boy. (Alex Cabrero/The Deseret News via AP)

 

Being from Georgia, where we’re notorious for not having frozen ponds, lakes, or any water outside of an ice cube tray in the freezer, the idea of falling through the ice is terrifying. I can imagine that it’s worse for people who actually fall through the ice.

In Utah, however, when one boy fell through the ice, he had a guardian angel looking out for him. An angel wearing a badge.

 Utah sheriff’s deputy said Tuesday he was desperate and numb from the cold as he punched and stomped his way into a frozen pond on Christmas Day to pull out an 8-year-old boy who had fallen through the ice while chasing his dog.

With cuts on his forearms, Washington County sheriff’s Sgt. Aaron Thompson said at a news conference that rescuers believe the child was in the 37-degree water for about 30 minutes until the deputy rescued him.

“I couldn’t feel anything. I didn’t notice anything when I was doing it,” Thompson said. “I knew that time was of the essence. I had a very short window to get that child out of the water.”

Sheriff’s Lt. David Crouse said the boy was hospitalized in Salt Lake City but he didn’t have details on his condition. Thompson said deputies were hopeful.

The boy fell through the ice in the town of New Harmony, north of St. George.

It’s funny how if a police officer does something bad, it may well end up on every news program from here to Timbuktu, but a heroic action like this? Virtually nothing.

However, let’s be clear, Thompson is a hero. While it appears he doesn’t like the spotlight, what he did was heroic in every sense of the word. He risked his own life for another, and that’s something we all like to think we’d do, but far too many of us are lying to ourselves about it.

For Sgt. Thompson, there’s not a doubt in the world.

The thing is, there are brave men and women like him in every department in the country, so while the media is painting police officers are racist, bigoted people who just can’t wait to blow away minorities, people like Sgt. Thompson are risking their lives to save a boy’s life. Meanwhile, the media wonders just why people don’t trust them anymore.

What we do trust is that people like Sgt. Thompson and his colleagues are people who will put their lives on the line for their fellow man. While the courts have ruled they have no duty to protect life, not every officer ascribes to that, as is evidenced by this incident.