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07/22/2005

Ore. Police officer of the year stages heroic rescue

News-Review Editorial

Everyone's heard the stories of how people have felt that a guardian angel swooped down and saved their lives.

Willow Fields probably felt that way when, struggling to stay afloat in the cold, fast North Umpqua River, she felt the strong hand of Don Frerichs grab hold of her and pull her to safety.

Frerichs, a Oregon Fish & Wildlife Senior Trooper, was checking fishing licenses when he heard her screams for help last Sunday. She had fallen above some rapids, was pulled in over her head and swept downstream.

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