ROGERS, Minn. (WCCO) — We are learning more about the touching story behind the suit that was used in a water rescue mission in Rogers this week.
Two men who work for a tree removal service were pinned underneath a cherry picker when their equipment slipped into an icy pond in Rogers on Wednesday.
The first man was able to get himself out. The Rogers police chief wore a cold water rescue suit and stayed with the other victim in the water for a half hour before he was rescued.
The broken ice in a suburban pond shows just how cold the water is. Chief Jeff Beahen knew he needed his cold water rescue suit to be able to stay in the water and keep a man, named Willie, conscious with his head above water.
“We just told him, ‘Willie, we’re not leaving this pond until you’re out of here,'” Beahen said.
The suit was a donation to the Rogers Police Department from a race called the Carrie On 5K. It was named after Carrie Lorman.
“She would light up a room, she was gorgeous. She was a gorgeous girl,” Lorman’s aunt Sue Stensrud said.
Lorman was 22 years old when she got into a snowy car accident in 2009. Her car went into the frozen water, and she died.
“They have protocol where they can’t go in the water right away, they needed backup. She just was in the water too long,” Stensrud said.
Lorman’s family started the Carrie On 5K in her honor, and have raised $50,000 in funds that have gone back into the community — including raising funds for the suit Chief Beahen wore into the pond, along with five others that were donated to the Rogers Police Department.
Eventually they were able to rescue the man using two front end loaders and a tow truck. Then the police chief talked to Lorman’s family on the phone, telling them what had just happened.
“My adage is touched by the wings of angels and there are things that happen in our lives that we just can’t explain,” Beahen said.
“We were able to purchase those suits that helped save that gentleman’s life,” Stensrud said.
The chief says the man had hypothermia, a broken arm, and facial injuries, but is expected to be OK.
“It just lets us know that there’s — good can come of bad situations and this is a really good example,” Stensrud said.
Lorman’s aunt said they are now working on funds to help cover the victim’s medical expenses. If you’d like to donate or participate in the Carrie On 5K in August, click here.