Porter County Sheriff's Department


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Lifesaving Awards


Women hailed as heroines for rescue

BY SUSAN EMERY Times Correspondent Monday, June 13, 2011


VALPARAISO | Around 9 p.m. March 11, friends Tristen Comegys and Meagan Arizpe were driving from Chesterton to the Walmart in Portage.

Comegys, 20, of Chesterton, and Arizpe, 22, of Valparaiso, said the route they were taking was the long way to Walmart, a way they had never gone before.

They were traveling on County Road 1050 North near County Road 163 West when Arizpe noticed something at the side of the road.

"I thought I saw a person in a ditch," she said.

Turning the car around and driving back to the scene, she and Comegys discovered an elderly woman up to her neck in water in the ditch.

Without a second thought, Arizpe pulled the woman out while Comegys called 911.

At the Porter County Sheriff's Department on Monday, a beaming Sheriff David Lain presented Comegys and Arizpe with lifesaving awards for their quick-thinking rescue.

Lain said police officers usually say they want to become officers in order to make a difference in the community.

Comegys and Arizpe, Lain said, "personify the essence of making a difference."

"It's so uplifting when we get to see examples of what it means to be a first responder outside our business," Lain said.

"These two young ladies were going about their normal everyday lives when it appeared to them that someone needed help. They just knew they could not stand idly by."

Lain said the woman in the ditch, Eleanor Adams, 89, of Chesterton, would not have survived without the women's actions.

"You saved a life," Lain said. "That's something police officers work their entire careers to do. I don't know what your future career plans are, but you can always get an application up front."

Comegys said she recently transferred from Ball State to Purdue University Calumet, where she will study marketing communications.

Arizpe just graduated from the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago.

Accompanying them at the lifesaving awards ceremony were family members including Comegys' father, Tony, and Arizpe's mother, Liz.

Several grandparents also attended.

Both women seemed to take what they did in stride.

"She (Adams) looked a little like my grandma," Arizpe said. "If my grandma was in the water, I wouldn't want someone just to sit in their car (and wait for police to come)."

"We don't really think we did anything," Comegys said. "It's just what you're supposed to do."

Adams' son, Raymond Adams, thanked both women at the ceremony and gave them each a monetary gift. He said his mother is now in a nursing home and doing well.

"How many people would even have stopped?" he said. "It really shows their character."

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