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Five Evans officers lauded for their role in emergency situation

EVANS — A number of officers from the town of Evans Police Department are being heralded as heroes, for their role in a recent life or death situation.

According to that department, dispatcher Michael Conti received a 911 distress call at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 18 from a caller saying that his roommate had taken an unknown amount of drugs and was contemplating taking his own life. Conti then gathered all pertinent information and broadcasted the information to all units.

Several minutes later, Patrolman Brian Kauzala located the subject’s vehicle, abandoned by Big Sister Creek. Kauzala, along with Patrolman Jeff Mayer, began to follow footprints leading from the vehicle, which ultimately led down to the banks of the creek. Patrolmen Ralph Maslach and Jeff DeVinney then joined the other officers.

A perimeter was established by the officers, while Conti kept the caller on the phone, obtaining further pertinent information. Mayer continued to follow the footprints along the banks of Big Sisters, while having to occasionally enter the freezing water. The temperatures that night were below zero.

After approximately 5 minutes of tracking the footprints, Mayer located the subject in a heavily wooded area.

The subject was then removed from the area and subsequently transported to Erie County Medical Center.

Evans Police Chief Ernest Masullo lauded the officers and dispatcher for going above and beyond the call of duty in order to save this subject’s life.

“On behalf of the town of Evans Police Department, I want to recognize each of you for the excellent job you did,” Masullo said. “If it was not for the actions of these officers who went above and beyond, I firmly believe that this individual would not be alive today. Congratulations on a job well done.”

The five men were also publicly recognized at a recent meeting of the Evans Town Board, where they were again thanked for their actions.

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