Officer gets medal for saving a life

By Jessica Cejnar, The Triplicate September 20, 2013 04:24 pm

Apperson
Apperson
Police sergeant rescued woman on Enderts Beach rocks

Crescent City Police Sgt. Erik Apperson received a medal and a standing ovation Monday night for his rescue of an injured woman stranded among the rocks and rising tide after a fall at Enderts Beach in April.

Members of the Crescent City Police Department and the Explorers’ Academy crowded the Flynn Center as Police Chief Doug Plack draped the department’s Medal of Life-Saving Service around Apperson’s neck. 

It’s the first time the Crescent City Police Department awarded a medal for an officer’s performance, Plack said. He then recounted how a trip to the beach with his family April 28 turned desperate for Apperson and the woman he rescued.

“Taking charge and talking to people in high stress situations isn’t as easy as some people might believe,” Plack said. He credited the rescue to “a combination of training and experience as the foundation, coupled with selfless efforts of Sgt. Apperson (and) the coordinated effort with the Search and Rescue Team.” 

Apperson carried the woman, 63-year-old Gail Eierweiss, of Richmond, over his shoulder out of the surf and up on shore when Search and Rescue volunteers arrived. Search and Rescue were able to get the woman up the mile-long path to a waiting ambulance.

Eierweiss sustained fractures to her pelvis and sacrum, Plack said.

“Helping our citizens and visitors is part of the reason individuals become police officers,” he said. “Each day our officers put their own lives on the line without regard for reward and unfortunately we do not always recognize their efforts.”

To read the Triplicate’s full account of the rescue, published last April 30, go to triplicate.com and click on “strolling the beach."

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