The past weeks have seen the Treasure Valley blanketed in a thick layer of snow and ice that’s left dozens of drivers stuck. Many of those stranded motorists have turned to local police for help, but who helps the police when they’re stuck?
On Saturday, it was Ryan Gerzin. The 27-year-old, who just moved to Nampa on Jan. 2, said he’s familiar with the hazards of winter driving after years spent in Denver and North Dakota. He said his car, a Subaru Impreza WRX with four-wheel drive and Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires, is built to take on the snow.
“I figured people could use someone with my expertise in the snow, and I wanted to get to know the town and acclimate myself,” he said. So he spent the weekend looking for folks to help as he familiarized himself with his new city. That’s when he stumbled upon a stuck Nampa Police Department patrol car.
Gerzin said at first he thought the officers, who NPD Sgt. Tim Riha identified as Cpl. Doug Kern and Officer Erin Pon, were on a call. When he realized Pon’s car was stuck, he hitched it to his own and started tugging.
A bystander captured the rescue on video: Gerzin’s blue sedan churns up a spout of powder, sliding sideways a bit as he dislodges the police cruiser, a Ford Taurus with all-wheel drive.
“(Officer Pon) couldn’t believe my little car was able to pull her out,” Gerzin said, calling the officers “really kind, really pleasant.”
NPD posted the video on Facebook, where it got more than 350 shares.
“Police officers are often called to the rescue, but every now and then we need someone to come to our rescue,” the post said, thanking Gerzin for “coming to our rescue.”
“We would’ve spent a lot more time trying to dig me out if you hadn’t come along!” Pon commented.
According to Riha, at least one or two other officers have found themselves stuck during this recent bad weather, but the problem’s not that common.
“I was surprised to see they were stuck,” Riha said. But combine deep slush with little clearance and it’s not hard to get high-centered, he said.
“Sometimes we need help, too. Obviously this nice gentleman decided to stop and help us get unstuck,” he said.
It wasn’t Gerzin’s only rescue, either. He estimated he helped close to 50 people in the several days he spent “playing in the snow.”
“If you have the time, stop and help out,” he said. “And be respectful that others might not be as comfortable driving in this as you are. Be safe, and be courteous.”