A brave officer from Fairfield City Police Area Command has been hailed as a hero after rescuing an elderly woman from rising floodwaters earlier this year.
On Monday 10 February 2020, heavy rainfall led to flash flooding across streets and homes in Sydney’s south-west.
It was just after midnight when Gabriella Isepy, who was at home alone, awoke to the sound of water flooding into her Canley Vale home.
Mrs Isepy, 97, called her granddaughter, Amanda Isepy, for help when she could hear the water tapping at her bedroom door.
“I live on the other side of Sydney and was worried I wouldn’t get to Grandma’s house in time to help,” Amanda said.
“I called the local police to see if they could go check on her and get Grandma to safety.”
Fairfield City Police Area Command’s Leading Senior Constable Andrew Marsh was at the station when the call came in and rushed over to the home.
“As we pulled up on her street, it was a very eerie sight – the street was flooded and we had to dodge floating garbage bins,” S/Cst Marsh said.
“As we stepped out of the police vehicle, water began to enter the car.
“I didn’t think twice about running in to check on her; the water was rising higher and higher and I knew we had to get Mrs Isepy out of the home.”
S/Cst Marsh said the water had risen too high for Mrs Isepy to walk through safely, so he gently picked her up on his shoulders and carried her out to the police vehicle.
“He carried me out like I was a sack of potatoes,” Mrs Isepy joked.
“He really was my hero that day – I’m so grateful he came to my rescue.”
She was then taken to Cabramatta Police Station to dry off, have a cup of tea and wait for her granddaughter to come pick her up.
Nearly six months on, S/Cst Marsh paid a visit to Mrs Isepy at her Canley Vale home last week.
The two relived the night in question, spoke about how Mrs Isepy had redecorated since and swapped tips on how to get the smell of flood water out of clothing.
“I’ve always wanted to help people in any way I could – it’s why I became a police officer,” S/Cst Marsh said.
“Whether it’s rescuing someone from a flooded home or running into a burning building or even returning a lost dog, I’m committed to helping anyone in the community in need of our assistance.”