Heroes in action
November 1, 2012
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Newcastle police, Bellevue fire departments help man in medical emergency
On the surface, it looked horrible.
A driver, sitting in his car, with two young children in the back seat, about to go the wrong direction toward oncoming traffic on Coal Creek Parkway as he turned out of the Safeway parking lot the afternoon of Sept. 26.
Thankfully, a Good Samaritan parked his large truck in front of the car, stopping the driver and avoiding any damage.
Newcastle Police Department officer Mark Sigurdson was dispatched to the scene, responding to a possible drunken driver, but he found that it was not quite what it seemed.
“I approached the car and talked to him,” Sigurdson said. “No odor of alcohol, clear eyes, but he was definitely not doing well.”
Baine Moshe was not doing well. Moshe, who has been a diabetic since 1995, had a gravely low blood sugar level of 37. It had reached a point where he was not cognizant of his surroundings. He lives next to Bellevue College, but he had no idea how he ended up in Newcastle.
It was not a case of drug abuse or alcoholism; it was a medical emergency, Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine said.
Sigurdson and Irvine called for an aid unit and members of the Bellevue Fire Department came to assess Moshe’s condition and get his sugar level up. But before the Bellevue Fire Department arrived, Sigurdson gave Moshe a granola bar out of his own sack lunch.
Meanwhile, Irvine sat with Moshe’s two young children, his daughter Shalom, 5, and his son, also named Baine, 3. She gave the children teddy bears to help calm their nerves.
“We’ve had donations of brand new teddy bears from citizens along the way and they are just for moments like that when children are frightened,” Irvine said.
Irvine, Sigurdson and the members of the Bellevue Fire Department stayed with Moshe and his children until his wife and neighbor arrived.
There was no doubt about it, Moshe said, the police and fire personnel saved his life that day.
“These are the people that you want protecting your family, because they protected mine and I was obviously way out there from my home,” he said. “I’ve never been treated with such care like that. These guys really went out of their way to make sure that I was OK, and to me that’s a hero.”
The very next day, Moshe worked tirelessly, contacting every superior within the city of Newcastle and the Bellevue Fire Department to let everyone know how grateful he was for the treatment he received.
When City Manager Rob Wyman heard the story, he wasn’t surprised at all.
“I’ve seen it time and time again from our officers here in the city,” he said. “It’s a testament to their training, their background and their personal traits.”
Sigurdson joined the Newcastle Police Department in early September after officer Ryan Olmstead transferred to Sammamish. Both Sigurdson and Irvine dismissed the notion that they were heroes.
“No, we’re not heroes,” she said. “We would do that for anybody, and I know he would do it for us. It’s just part of our job.”
Since the incident, Moshe has been extra careful to take his medication and check his blood sugar level before he drives.
“Mark told me to check my sugar level before I leave the house, before I go and pick up my kids,” he said. “I’ve done that every day since, because I don’t want that to ever happen again.”
As things wrapped up at the scene, Moshe approached the officers and asked if he should expect to receive a ticket from them.
“Well, I asked them, ‘Am I going to get a ticket?’ and Melinda said, ‘If I had Mariners tickets, I’d give you some.’ I just thought that was so sweet,” Moshe said. “She was just a kind person.”