JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Without hesitation, Upper Yoder Township Police Officer Todd Miller jumped into a river in full uniform to save a man injured while tubing.
“He did not hesitate and again the other personnel on scene said that Officer Miller immediately responded and went directly in the river with almost disregard for his own safety,” said Donald Hess, Police Chief for Upper Yoder Township.
On July 18, first responders were dispatched to a call of a person who had hit their head on a rock.
“We were having trouble locating the person. The caller that made the call to 9-1-1 could only give a landmark of being able to see a bus depot nearby which we assumed was the Mcllwain Bus Station,” said Wade Meyer Jr., Assistant Fire Chief of the Riverside Volunteer Fire Company.
Meyer was with Officer Miller.
“We found a patient, a male patient, who was lying in the river on his side, semi-submerged, however, his head and his face were out of the water,” said Meyer.
The man was conscious and that’s when Meyer and Miller jumped into Stonycreek River to get the man out of the water.
The man was eventually taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center.
General Manager for Coal Tubin, Hunter Spisak, says if it wasn’t for the other tubers, it could have ended a lot differently.
“We don’t recommend that the entire group takes their phones out to play games or text while they’re out on the river but it’s always a great safety net in case something were to happen. Them having their cell phones out there helped save that man that day.”
Chief Hess says the heroic acts speak volume to first responders.
“He is a prime example of the officers not only in our area, the Greater Johnstown area, but across the country as well.”
We’re told the victim suffered a head injury but have not been able to get an update on his current condition.
While Miller didn’t want to go on camera, he says he was just doing his job.