East Texas DPS troopers help save women from swarming bee attack
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Four Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers were awarded for their roles in saving two women from swarming bees that were covering their bodies.
Trooper Bradley Fein, from Mt. Pleasant; Trooper Alan Owens from Tyler; Cpl. Earnest Parker, from Baird; and Trooper Michael West from Eastland each received a Lifesaving Award for their actions on Oct. 11.
The team was on patrol that day for Operation Lone Star in Maverick County on FM 481. A vehicle passed by Trooper West and told him that there was a woman lying on the side of the road about two miles north of where he was patrolling.
When West arrived he saw the woman sitting on the west side of the road with her head wrapped in a shirt. He approached the woman and saw what he thought were flies covering her head and shoulders, according to the report provided to KLTV. He quickly saw that they were bees.
He contacted another trooper off scene who is a beekeeper, and he told West to spray the woman with a fire extinguisher, douse her in water to minimize the bees’ aggression and have her walk away from the hive. As West sprayed the woman, the bees attacked him, forcing him to retreat. West called communications, asking for additional units and EMS. Trooper Owens responded.
Trooper Fein arrived and was told if he got out, the bees would swarm him, as well. Fein speaks Spanish, and used his public address system to tell the woman to walk toward their patrol vehicles to move her away from the hive. As she walked toward them, West continued to spray her with the fire extinguisher.
When they had exhausted their fire extinguishers they began to pour water over the female’s body to continue neutralizing the remaining attacking bees.
Trooper Owens then placed his raincoat over the woman’s body and began rubbing her down to reduce the risk of her being attacked by other bees, according to the report.
Trooper Parker arrived and assisted West, Fein and Owens. The woman was taken 15 miles away, to the EMS staging area.
As the troopers cleared the scene, Parker spotted a second woman on the side of the road in a bar ditch who had also been attacked by bees and was having difficulty breathing.
According to the report, the troopers began pouring water over the woman’s head to eliminate the bees that were still in her hair. They began talking to her in an effort to keep her conscious until EMS arrived. Trooper Fein administered an EPI pen into the woman’s right thigh.
Shortly after, West arrived back at the scene and Trooper Fein, Trooper Owens, and Trooper Lance Parker loaded the female into his patrol car and secured her. West then took the second female to the next ambulance that was responding at the intersection of US 57 and FM 481 which was also approximately 15 miles from the incident location.
The bee stings were life-threatening to both women, but they survived, according to DPS. The troopers received their lifesaving awards on Thursday, Feb. 10 at the Texas Public Safety Commission meeting at DPS headquarters in Austin.
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