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Pocatello police recognizes officers, teen for lifesaving actions

When asked what it felt like to get an award for helping save a life alongside four police officers, Marisol Arevalo laughed at the idea.

“I’m usually in trouble,” she said. “It’s kind of weird for me to get one of these.”

Sergeant Scott Matson, however, knows for a fact it’s very well-deserved. Earlier this month, police responded to a call about a disturbance where a man severely cut his leg while breaking windows out of an apartment. When Matson, officer Eric Bills and two others got there, Arevalo was already pressing a towel on the victim’s leg.

“It happened so fast. I don’t know what was really going through my mind, but as soon as I saw the blood I just took action. I helped him out,” said Arevalo.

Matson and Bills applied a tourniquet to the man’s leg and got him to the hospital. A doctor there said their efforts helped save the man’s life, but Matson is sure the man wouldn’t have been saved without Arevalo’s help.

Matson is sure many others would have done what Arevalo did.

“I told my wife if a citizen was grabbed off the street and brought into that situation they probably would have done what they could to help,” Matson said.

In front of a crowd inside Pocatello City Hall Wednesday, police chief Scott Marchand honored Matson, Bills and two other officers with Lifesaver Awards and Arevalo with a Civilian Service Award.

The other awarded officers, Jordan Johnson and Bridget McArthur, were given the award for resuscitating an unconscious woman by performing CPR.

Matson said the actions that merited the awards is part of the job of being a police officer.

“There will be things that you will do (that come to you like) muscle memory,” he said. “The things you’ve practiced and trained in will automatically come to you.”

Marchand was not shy to say he’s proud of his police department, but it extends to the community, especially in the case of Arevalo.

“We do a lot of things out in the community. The community has welcomed us and taken care of us,” Marchand said. “I think we have a different relationship than most places.”

Two new officers, Samantha White and Wes Wheatley, were also sworn in.

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