Staff report

FARMINGTON — Two local police officers have been recognized for their roles in saving a Strong woman who was found facedown in a brook in July.

Police Chief Jack Peck announced October 29 that officers Michael Lyman and Jesse Clement received a Lifesaving Award for their actions.

Michael Lyman (FPD photo)

The rescue

At about 8 p.m. July 6, the officers, along with Sgt. Edward Hastings IV, worked with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Warden Service, Maine State Police, Farmington Fire Rescue Department and Strong Fire Department to locate the woman who had been reported missing from her home, according to Peck.

She was reported to be depressed over the recent passing of a family member, Peck wrote.

“We all split up into teams of two and hunted for her,” Clement wrote in email Monday night. “We used thermal scopes and night vision but never found her. We searched the river nearby and the tall cornfields but no luck,” he said.

“Officer Lyman and I were headed back to the South Strong Road to regroup and then we heard a moaning coming from the brook. We ran toward the sound and found her,” Clement said. She was lying facedown in the mud and water.

 “I have no idea how she was able to hold her head above the water for so long but she did,” Clement wrote. “Officer Lyman and I ran into the brook and pulled her out. The mud was about waist deep and we had to pick her up and move her a few inches at a time.”
Once they got her to the edge of the brook, Clement noticed signs of hypothermia.
Deputy Derrick Doucette, Deputy Brian McCormick, Warden Chris McCabe and Farmington Fire Rescue Department Capt. Scott Baxter and Chief Terry Bell arrived to help. They put her in McCabe’s truck and drove her to the main road for NorthStar EMS ambulance personnel, Clement wrote.
“Nothing really went through my mind other then getting her out of that brook and warmed up,” Clement wrote.
Clement said he became a police officer for the same reason he became a soldier in the U.S. Army: “To fight for those who can’t. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Lyman was not immediately available for comment.

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