BACKYARD HEROES: Cops save boy after freak accident
THE vivid images of a lifeless 10-year-old boy, laying on the ground, blue, his family desperately trying to save him, will stick with the officers who responded to the job for the rest of their lives.
Terrified parents made the call for help when they went into the backyard of their Aitkenvale home to find their son hanging by his neck from a rope climbing apparatus.
By the time the four Kirwan police officers made it to the yard on Saturday, the boy was not breathing, blue and lifeless, his family attempting to bring him back from the brink.
Acting Sergeant Katrina Mann relived the emotional moment yesterday, as she recounted the harrowing incident to the Townsville Bulletin, an incident that will stick with her forever.
Sgt Mann was among four female officers, including Senior Constable Tracey Baker, Constable Chantell Solomona and First Year Constable Ash Cunningham, who rushed to the Nathan St home just after midday.
When they arrived the group was shocked to find the 10-year-old boy, initially being told they were responding to an unresponsive man in a yard.
She said he had been playing in his backyard, described as a "paradise" for kids, when he became caught.
His parents last saw him playing on the trampoline, but emerged 10 minutes later to find him hanging from the equipment.
"We turned up there and he was unconscious, not breathing, and the family was performing CPR," Sgt Mann said.
"Police took over that role and we waited for QAS to arrive.
"The family were beside themselves … absolutely distraught, they couldn't function."
Sgt Mann, an officer for 12 years, assisted the desperate family as another officer conducted CPR on the boy.
Finally, his chest started to rise and fall, colour was coming back to his face and eventually he came back to life.
The entire ordeal played out in front of his parents and five children.
Paramedics arrived after what "felt like a lifetime" and Sgt Mann rushed to help them bring their equipment into the backyard.
"I saw a reaction when they were putting in the cannula (a tube used to deliver fluids), so I was immediately thinking that was a good sign, but everything went to worst case scenario.
The boy was placed into an induced coma at Townsville University Hospital on Saturday, but made a miraculous recovery and is now conscious and able to communicate.
"It's just amazing," she said, holding back tears.
"It was just such an unfortunate accident.
"This one will be with me forever I think."
Townsville Chief Superintendent Craig Hanlon said the four officers were heroes.
"When police turn up to things, it's for all the wrong reasons. One of the things we exist for as an organisation is to save lives," he said.
"This is a great result … really, really heartwarming.
"That is worth every dollar they pays us … you can't put a price on that."
Supt Hanlon said regular CPR training was essential for his crews as they were often the first to respond to tragic scenes.
"These little things go a long way … it's why we join the job we are here to help people."
Sgt Mann said the shocking incident was why she did her job.
"All of the officers that were there … we come in, we come under pressure, and we just get stuck in … that's just what we do."
Originally published as BACKYARD HEROES: Cops save boy after freak accident