VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – A young child’s adventure quickly transitioned to a parent’s worst nightmare after 11 year old Swayzie Blocker had to be rescued from an 80 foot tall tree. Swayzie’s mother, Olivia Burgener, says the rescue process was as if time was standing still.
Climbing trees isn’t anything out of the norm for Swayzie, who can be found outdoors on any given day.
“I just like nature and everything, and I just like climbing trees. I like climbing everything,” says Swayzie.
Swayzie and a friend decided to climb a fallen tree, which led to another obstacle for the girls. As Swayzie continued on, her friend decided to stay back on the ground. Moments later, trouble arose.
“I looked down and I was trying to touch the other branch, and I couldn’t touch it,” recalls Swayzie.
The family says Swayzie tried grabbing her friend’s attention by throwing her shoes down to the ground. That is when the friend’s mother called 911, and alerted Burgener.
“When I saw her, I held it together,” explains Burgener, “but I think it was mostly shock.”
Scott Township Firefighters arrived on the scene, along with assistance from the McCutchanville Fire Department. Firefighters say they used a 35 foot long ladder to approach Swayzie, but say she was still an estimated 25 feet away from their ladder. After discovering Swayzie was alert and uninjured, Evansville Firefighters were called to provide ropes to reach her.
“She was actually in a pretty good spot,” says Lieutenant Ryan Bosecker with the Scott Township Fire Department. “She kind of perched herself right on a big, decent-sized limbs.” Lieutenant Steven Buchta adds, “She had a big limb and she was in like a V-area, where she had really good stability. She was alert, talking, like she talked to me as soon as we got there.”
The family says they are forever grateful for the work of first responders. Swayzie says she thanks them for saving her life. Burgener says if she could go back to that night, she would give all first responders a hug for saving her daughter. Moving forward, the adventure-seeking Swayzie has no plans to change.
“No. I’m going to still climb trees,” says Swayzie.
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