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Police Officer Saved My Life - Quake Victim

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Police Officer Saved My Life - Quake Victim

An elderly Christchurch resident says she owes her life to two police constables who came to her aid during a big aftershock following September's massive Canterbury earthquake.

Terror-stricken Colleen Zuydendorp, 76, was sobbing on the telephone to her daughter in the middle of the aftershock which rattled her St Albans home when Constable Paul Mark and his partner Constable Megan Hensley called to see how she was faring.

"I was phoning my daughter...saying there was a big boom, saying it won't stop, it won't stop. I was really, really scared,' she told NZPA today.

"While I was in this mess there was a knock on the front door and who would it be but these two police constables."

The officers had visited her earlier in the day after she called police to tell them about a neighbour's unsecured home.

"They had been in the area and thought I might be in this mess," Mrs Zuydendorp said.

By then her blood pressure was extremely high and she was about to get a taxi to a medical centre.

The two police officers calmed her down and took her to Christchurch Hospital where she spent several days until her health stabilised.

Mrs Zuydendorp said had the two police officers not arrived she may have died.

"I think they are just amazing. They turned up uninvited just to check up."

Mrs Zuydendorp's sister Julie Siegert told the Police Association magazine Police News the officers went above and beyond the call of duty and probably saved her sister's life.

"It was totally amazing. It is what I think the police are meant to do."

Police area commander Inspector Dave Lawry said even before the earthquake police had been practising high visibility policing and being more involved in the community.

He said a survey which finished just before the earthquake on how the public perceived the police, ranked Canterbury police the highest in the country.

"It is about taking the time to care and going back."


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