DPS Officer/Paramedic recalls crash involving one of his fellow - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

DPS Officer/Paramedic recalls crash involving one of his fellow officers

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - FOX10 spoke with a Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer/Paramedic who responded to a rollover crash on the Beeline Highway that involved one of his own officers Monday afternoon.

The accident happened near Payson during the height of the monsoon storm that brought heavy wind and rain to the area.

Officer/Paramedic Russ Dodge rescued one of his own Monday from a wrecked patrol car along State Route 87 south of Payson. Stormy weather posed a threat, but not enough to keep the chopper from landing at the crash site.

"We made the decision that it was safe to go because of the weather... it appeared to be a vehicle with a heavy amount of damage all over the vehicle," said Dodge.

Payson Fire Department crews had freed the officer from the wreckage. Dodge had to airlift the injured officer out safely to the nearest trauma center.

"He had suffered some pretty significant injuries because of the rollover, but he was talking to me during the transport," he said.

A reassuring voice is a big help during a crisis like a car crash. Dodge said he and his crews are trained to keep calm and carry on.

"Initially, you get that kinda takes your breath away feeling, but then you have to compartmentalize it. It's no different than a paramedic assigned to a SWAT team... that's what were there for, that's what our training is for," said Dodge.

It took close to 30 minutes to reach the hospital so the officer could have surgery. Severe thunderstorms led to a quick change. The chopper was diverted to the nearest trauma center, John C. Lincoln as the storms rolled in.

"Just as we landed and started to shut down it started to rain on us again fairly hard. So we wanted to get everything ready that was the biggest difficult unloading him and transporting him into the rain," said Dodge.

The injured officer has been identified as Ansamana Dukuly.
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