From a press release from Rate My Cop –
Officer Dwight W. Ayers
The night of January 9, 2007, Officer Dwight W. Ayers arrested an individual on an outstanding Emergency Custody Order and took him to the Carillion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. After several hours the individual was turned over to the hospital security personnel to await evaluation. As he was preparing to depart the hospital, Officer Ayers observed the individual escape custody and run past him. Officer Ayers chased the individual through the hospital and outside on hospital grounds.
The individual jumped into the Roanoke River and swam approximately 5-6 feet toward the center of the river where he held on to a downed tree. Officer Ayers stayed on the bank and gave numerous commands for the individual to return to the ban, all of which were ignored. Officer Ayers then entered the river. The current was swift due to recent heavy rains, the air temperature was in the mid-30s with wind gusts of up to 25 mph, and the water was lethally cold. Officer Ayers waded and swam to the individual and grabbed him around the upper torso. The two began to struggle, ending up in the center of the river were the water was approximately 8 feet deep. The swift current forced both men under the surface. Although Officer Ayers initially had a secure hold on the individual, the current made it impossible for Officer Ayers to maintain his grip on the individual.
Officer Ayers was able to make his way back to the surface and fought the swift current to stay afloat. He continued to sink under water for an undetermined amount of time as he floated uncontrollably down the river. When he surfaced, he grabbed a fallen tree branch to prevent his drowning. At roughly the same time, the individual’s body snagged onto an unknown object, was pulled back under water, and then drifted away.
Before grabbing the tree branch, Officer Ayers had traveled approximately 175 yards from where he entered the river. He was helped from the water and immediately taken to the emergency room and treated for hypothermia. The doctor who attended to Officer Ayers indicated that his core body temperature had dropped to 89 degrees and he said that if he had remained in the water any longer he would have succumbed to hypothermia. Officer Ayers was in the water for approximately fifteen minutes.
Unfortunately, the individual who Officer Ayers attempted to save drowned. His body was located several days after the rescue attempt. However, without disregard for his safety and well being, and in an effort to preserve the life of another, Officer Ayers clearly distinguished himself from his peers in taking these heroic actions.
One of the things that makes this nation function are those whose goal in life is not just about the money. They are school teachers, policemen, firemen, social workers, forest rangers, prison guards, etc. Their willingness to work in jobs that many would find less than economically rewarding (school teaching) or often depressing (social workers and policemen) or dangerous (firemen and policemen), make this society function. There appears to be considerable sentiment running around the Internet and around the various state capitals that these people aren’t worth a damn.
For instance –
From the Rush Limbaugh Show –
TEACHER: I think we’ve lost the sense of democracy. I feel like what people in Egypt are fighting for right now, that’s exactly what I feel like I’m fighting for right now.
RUSH: What an absolute idiot. It’s a crying shame that this glittering jewel of colossal ignorance is teaching students. Comparing this to Egypt? “I feel like that’s exactly what I’m fighting right now.” What was Egypt even about? Do you even know, ma’am? Bottom line, it’s not about what they want. We all “want” things. Very few of us run around demanding that somebody give us everything we want! Most of us have more class, most of us have more understanding, most of us are more mature than to run around whining (sobbing), “This is what we want! (sobbing) I want my dignity! I want my respect, and I want my benefits (sniffle), I want my health care!” Well, go earn it! It’s not about what you want. In your case, it’s about what can be afforded. They’re trying to make themselves out to be oppressed. You’re not in Egypt. You’re a bunch of people who feel entitled to be freeloaders.
I have had the pleasure of dealing with policemen, firemen, teachers, probation officers and quite a few other public employees. I like them. I feel they do essential work.
I also am an attorney. I believe that when you sign up for a difficult job and one of your reasons is that there will be a good pension or good medical benefits, that’s your decision. It was also a decision by the State or local government that attracting people to do these difficult jobs was hard and required incentives. It’s a contract.
We are supposed to believe those.
When these people doing difficult work for many years are demonized as freeloaders – How about another comment from Rush Limbaugh about teachers –
RUSH: Let’s put one thing to rest right now, and that is: The last people they care about are the children. The last people they care about are the kids. The last thing they teach about is education. This is not about students. This is not about education. This is not about teaching. This is not about learning. This is about themselves.
CALLER: It’s narcissistic.
RUSH: It is narcissistic. It’s also hypocritical. These people have been getting by for years on the notion that they are devoted, that they are sacrificing, that they are subordinating themselves to the lofty ideals of the children and their education and so forth — and it isn’t about that at all. It is about them. The children are just pawns. They’re just pawns, as so many of the so-called “little guys” the Democrats are trying to help, they’re just pawns in the game of how these people take care of themselves.
… it makes me unhappy.
One of my teachers was Mr. Thompson. He taught me American Government and Social Studies. He went to college on the G.I. Bill. He was a quartermaster in an artillery unit, 155mm howitzers. He landed in Sicily and served through the Italian Campaign. He saw Mussolini’s body. He admitted it was quick, he was a passenger in a jeep down the street, but he did see him.
He only talked about combat once. His unit was attacked by Italian infantry. Thompson’s artillery unit lowered the muzzles of their field pieces and fired point blank into the attackers. He paused, “Those Italians, …” Then he just shook his head and changed the subject.
After I left school and went to college, he retired. I lost touch with him after that. If he is alive today, he would be well over 110 years old. That would have been a long time collecting his retirement from the State of Oklahoma.
I don’t begrudge him it.