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Firefighters, EMTs aid men after fall into river

The Western News | November 5, 2021 7:00 AM

Libby first responders provided medical aid to two anglers who ended up in the Kootenai River last weekend.

Members of the Libby Volunteer Fire Department responded to an Oct. 30 report that a person had fallen into the river near mile marker 26 on U.S. Highway 2 between Libby and Troy. First Assistant Fire Chief Scott Beagle, who was first to arrive on scene, learned that two men had gone into the river while fishing from a floatation device.

One of the men met Beagle by the highway and led him to the shoreline where his companion, who was wet, cold and unable to walk, rested. Beagle gave the second man his turnout jacket to keep him warm.

A Libby Volunteer Ambulance crew arrived soon after and helped firefighters dry the man and warm him with blankets. First responders then used a stretcher-like device to move the man to the highway and put him in an ambulance.

Ambulance crews took both men to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center for treatment. While Jeff Holder, president of Libby Volunteer Ambulance, was unsure how the men progressed after taking them to the hospital, he said both seemed capable of making a full recovery.

The fire department saw eight members in two trucks arrive on scene, according to Beagle. Holder said four ambulance volunteers responded to the call.