Off-duty conservation officer rescues woman from burning mobile home in Ottawa County

Contact: Lt. Gerald Thayer, 269-350-1280
Agency: Natural Resources

Aug. 28, 2020

CO Robert Slick

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Robert Slick was the first emergency responder to arrive at the scene of a burning mobile home in Spring Lake Wednesday afternoon.

While off-duty, Slick was out jogging around 5:30 p.m. when he saw smoke in the distance. The smoke became thicker and turned black as Slick continued running along 148th Avenue.

At the corner of Greenspire Drive and Kelowna Court, in the Country Estates Mobile Home Park, Slick saw the front of a mobile home engulfed in flames, with several people gathered, watching from a safe distance.

One person told Slick that he called 911 and firefighters were on their way.

Slick approached the burning mobile home cautiously to look through the windows for any people or pets, when an individual told him there was an elderly disabled woman stuck inside.

Slick went to the back of the burning home and found a neighbor there, trying to open a jammed door. Together, the two men opened the door and entered the smoke-filled mobile home where they found the woman, who was alert and talking.

Her walker was unable to fit through the door frame, trapping her inside the laundry room. The two men picked the woman up and carried her outside.

Slick then carried the woman to a nearby porch. He waited with her there until emergency medical personnel arrived to evaluate her.

“The department is proud of officer Slick and the gentleman who assisted him,” said Gary Hagler, chief of the DNR Law Enforcement Division. “They risked their own lives to save another. A conservation officer is never truly off-duty and is trained to respond to situations like this.”

Slick has been with the DNR Law Enforcement Division since 2015. He patrols in Ottawa County.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect residents by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.

/Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available below for download. Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Slick-Robert: Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Robert Slick was exercising off-duty Wednesday when he saw a mobile home in Spring Lake engulfed in flames. Slick and a neighbor were able to rescue the woman from the burning structure; Slick carried her to a porch and waited with her until EMS arrived./