Indiana conservation officer saves life of suicidal man alone in the woods

Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 00:33:22-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- A distressed man called 911 Monday, saying he was attempting to take his own life in a heavily wooded area along the White River. That call was routed to an Indiana conservation officer, who found the man and saved his life.

The call came in around 3 p.m. that a possibly suicidal man was somewhere along the White River in Southwestway Park, along Mann Road on the far southwest side of Marion County.

The nearest person who could help was Indiana Conservation Officer Nick Wilson, who began searching the trails in the area on his ATV.

Dispatchers were able to provide Wilson, and IMPD officers who were also patrolling the area on foot, with only a broad search area from GPS information from the caller's phone.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the caller was in-and-out of consciousness throughout the search. He eventually became lucid enough to tell dispatchers that he heard Wilson's ATV in the distance, allowing the officer to narrow his search and, ultimately, to find him.

Above: Indiana Conservation Officer Nick Wilson

Once he arrived once scene, Wilson saw that the man had cut himself deeply and was in serious distress.

"Once I arrived on scene, I knew that he was losing blood rapidly," Wilson said. "At that time I took out the tourniquet and applied it to his arm. I was able to stop the bleeding at that time."

It was 20 minutes before any other responders were able to make it to Wilson's location.

"During that 20 minutes I kept talking to the victim, calming him down, making sure he knew everything was going to be alright," Wilson said. "He wasn't able to talk to me, but I believe that he was able to listen to me, through head movements. I calmed him down as best as I could."

An Indiana State Police helicopter was used to direct EMS to Wilson's location. Once on scene, medics transported the man to IU Health Methodist Hospital in serious condition.

Wilson, who's been a conservation officer for five years, said the call was a first for him.

"I knew it was part of the job. I signed up for this knowing that one day I could get into this situation," he said. "But due to our training, our first responder training, I felt comfortable showing up on scene and helping him out."