Fort Leonard Wood DES Police Officer’s ‘Gut Feeling’ Provides Lifesaving Help to Post Resident in Need | Article

Brittany Marsh, a police officer with the Fort Leonard Wood Emergency Services Branch, recently saved the life of a retiree residing in post housing.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)


FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – “I was always told, even before I worked in law enforcement, that if you have a feeling, you have to trust it,” said Brittany Marsh, a police officer from the towards Fort Leonard Wood. emergency services.

Marsh recently trusted her “hunch” that something was wrong – and it paid off, when she came to the rescue of a living pensioner, most likely saving her life.

The story begins on a Friday. Marsh was sent to the pensioner’s home due to reports of a heated argument. Marsh said DES had been called to the residence several times before – the retiree needed a caretaker, and there were apparently disagreements over who should fill the role.

As they left, Marsh said she and her partner left the retiree in her bedroom.

“Saturday I arrived at work and started to realize that something was wrong,” she said, knowing that the pensioner’s extended family was supposed to be on their way. “Sunday rolled around, and I arrived on shift and told my supervisor before I started one of my security checks that I was basically going to self-ship to residence because it didn’t look good to me.”

When Marsh and another officer arrived, they knocked on the door and heard what sounded like moans or screams.

“I walked around the whole bedroom outside the house trying to see where the closest spot was – the clearest position where I could hear it,” Marsh said. “I knocked on the siding, and I announced myself. “It’s Officer Marsh, ma’am. You hear me?’ I could still hear the screams.

Eventually, officers heard the resident say, “Help me! Help me!” There was an open window, and Marsh climbed through it. They found the retiree on her bathroom floor.

“From the look of the bathroom, I guess she had been there for about two days — the day I left,” Marsh said. “At one point she had hit her face. One of his eyes was swollen and closed. She was unable to do anything. I feel like if I hadn’t answered there on Sunday, there would be no more days for her.

The retiree was treated for her injuries and Marsh said the woman now resides at an assisted living facility for veterans.

“The previous times I had dealt with her, she had made it clear that she didn’t want to go to any hospital,” Marsh said. “She refused several times to seek treatment. This time it felt like she had decided to stop being stubborn, for lack of a better word. I am so, so grateful that she was always responsive and was able to let us know that she was indeed in distress and needed help. She said thank you.”

The retiree was just the first person to thank Marsh for her outstanding service — senior leaders across the facility have pointed to Marsh’s actions as an example of what law and order looks like in a community.

“It’s nice to have the recognition from the higher ups,” Marsh said. “It is our duty to monitor the community within the jurisdiction of Fort Leonard Wood – and to assist, protect and defend – but to ensure that the highest ranking recognize what we are treating or what we are potentially treating in the line of duty is huge in my eyes. They have busy schedules; they take care of all the setup, so taking a moment to check out someone who is lower on the totem is remarkable to me. I was a little taken aback. »

Marsh, a native of Calhoun, Georgia, arrived at Fort Leonard Wood about four years ago with her husband, a military police soldier currently assigned to the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence NCO Academy. . She also served in the military as a Blackhawk helicopter mechanic for two years and met her husband while they were both stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Prior to finding his job at DES, Marsh worked in law enforcement for Pulaski County — first at the county jail, then as a deputy sheriff. She still holds a reserve commission with the county.

“I’ve always had a passion for law enforcement,” she said. “I’m someone who always wants to help people.”

When Marsh was offered the job opportunity about a year ago, she said she couldn’t pass it up.

“Having served in the military, I wanted that sense of camaraderie and close family,” she said. “Working on the facility and dealing with the service members makes me feel that.”

Marsh’s supervisor, Anthony Dippel, has worked at DES for 10 years. He said he was “just happy to have him on the team”.

“She has a very energetic charisma,” he said. “The way she interacts with the public attracts people to her in a positive light. Between that and her knowledge acquired in other agencies, she is an asset to Fort Leonard Wood.

Marsh said law enforcement work allows her to do something she really loves – engaging with the community.

“I love that our population and our society realize that there are individuals out there watching over the community who are positive and engaging and reinforce good traits and good habits,” she said.

As for his vital intuition, Marsh said no one should assume they know what’s going on in someone else’s life.

“Don’t be afraid to commit and build a relationship with someone,” she advised.

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