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A day off – yeah right!

Michelle Collis. Waitara STU officer, Constable Michelle Collis, has special memories of a recent day off – she spent it dealing with three potentially life and death situations.

On what started out as a simple trip to the Manawatu, Michelle ended up saving the life of a three-week-old baby, rescuing a seriously-injured motorcyclist who was lying out of view from SH3, and herding two horses off the road out of harm’s way.

Her day began about 7.15am near the Manawatu Gorge where she and her partner encountered two Clydesdale horses on the road. The pair rounded them up and put them back in a paddock before the horses or motorists were harmed in a potential nasty collision.

Later that afternoon, driving with her sister, Michelle saw a woman in Palmerston North, holding a baby up in the air at the roadside. She reversed to the scene and found the baby had stopped breathing and was turning blue.

Michelle rendered first aid while her sister called 111. As the ambulance arrived the baby was regaining its colour.

On the return trip home, about 8.15pm Michelle noticed broken railings at the roadside. She continued on and then turned around to return to the scene.

“I don’t know what made me stop,” she says. “There was something telling me to stop and have a look.”

Fortunately, her instinct paid off. She found a motorcyclist lying about half a metre below road level, unconscious in a fence, with cuts to his hands and face. He had been catapulted through the air and nightfall was close.

For the second time that day, she called 111 and an ambulance soon arrived. Michelle eventually made it home around 11pm, exhausted, but admitting she kept looking out for things all the way home.

While rejecting the tag of ‘hero’, she recalls telling a couple of people she must have been someone’s guardian angel that day.

What’s more, there’s no doubt she’d be a star for the current recruiting campaign where police officers can tell “better work stories”.

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