Police: Teamwork leads to student rescue

Construction equipment used to retrieve child

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Hollister Police Officer Julio Martinez is pictured with a student who climbed to the top of a backstop at Rancho San Justo School and was unable to descend on her own.

Local police, fire, school staff and even a construction crew joined forces to rescue a child who climbed into a dangerous situation at a Hollister school Jan. 15, according to authorities.

Police and fire responded to an incident in which the special needs student climbed to the top of a backstop of a softball field at Rancho San Justo School, reads a press release from Hollister Police Department. The student climbed nearly to the top of the backstop before school staff were able to stop her.

The structure is made of chain link fence. School staff tried to convince the student to come down, but she climbed to a point where she was unable to descend safely on her own, police said.

The school contacted Hollister police. Officers Guadalupe Pompa and Julio Martinez arrived and called for the fire department to respond with a ladder. While waiting for the fire department, Martinez climbed up the backstop and stayed with the student to keep her calm, the press release states.

Authorities on scene soon realized there was a construction crew working at the school, and noticed the crew was working with a large scissor lift. The crew was able to transport the lift to the area of the backstop and raise it to the top of the fencing, and helped the student and officer descend safely.

“The school district is thankful to Officer Pompa and Officer Martinez for their excellent work. This situation was handled with the highest level of care and concern for our student,” said Hollister School District Superintendent Diego Ochoa.

The Hollister Police Department thanked the school staff for their quick action and the teamwork displayed by everyone who focused on the safety of the student.

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