WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) He saw a fire at two in the morning, helped get residents out of their apartments and saved lives. But as ABC4’s Don Hudson tells us in this Behind the Badge report – that was the second time he helped save a life.
“I absolutely love my job. Why’s that? Every day is different.”
Officer Josh Cook has been on the road with the West Valley City Police Department for two and a half years.
“It’s the most self-rewarding job you can have.”
But it’s a job he has wanted to do all his life.
“Since I can remember. Since I was a little kid. It’s the allure of it.”
And after serving as a corrections officer, parole and probation officer and now a police officer – he says his love for law enforcement is really about a love for constant change.
“Every day is different. Every call is a different call. Even the same call at the same house is a different call.”
One of those calls came – one month ago. When the 33-year-old saw flames coming out a window. And this time it was Officer Cook making the call.
“I dispatched a structure fire – had everyone come that was close. I started knocking on doors.”
“I got them out of the house and then ran around to the other side and started waking people up.I forced that door open. I went in a few feet and started calling out but the smoke was pretty thick and pretty low, so I backed out and started calling people out.”
” …people started coming out and I made sure no one else was in there before moving on. From the time of me spotting the fire to running around to the other side of the building the flames had fully engulfed the whole portion of that building.”
Because of that – a man was trapped by the flames on the second floor. While other officers stayed near the man and helped him break open a window, Officer Cook jumped in his car.
“I grabbed my car. Flipped on my lights. And went around and rammed the fence.”
He stopped his car under the man’s window. Officers then jumped on the car and got him out of the fiery apartment.
Don asks: Do you look at that as heroic, at all?
Officer Cook says “No. I’m told its heroic. I’m told a lot of family and friends that are proud of me. To me, it’s just another call.”
Officer Cook is quick to point out that saving people that day was a team effort.
However, last year – Officer Cook saved a life – for the most part – on his own.
“When we go there the child wasn’t breathing. Its eyes were rolled back into its head. That’s our worst nightmare. A child not breathing. I took the child from the mom. And did light chest compressions and got the baby to gasp and it quit turning blue. I was actually talking to the child. Come on little guy breathe and stuff like that. Being able to get the child to breathe. Then it stops breathing again. Then getting it to breathe again.”
Then Officer Cook ran the baby out to an ambulance that had pulled up.
Today that infant is alive and doing great. And Officer Cook – moves on – waiting for the next call.
“Every day is different. It goes from a nothing call to the most hair raising call of the day you can have in your day.”
Officer Cook says after the fire and media coverage – people from all over Utah and the country sent him cards. A recent one from Florida basically just thanked him for what he did. He says he is humbled by the outreach of support. To read that letter and see more on Officer Cook or to nominate someone for a future Behind the Badge story – go to. https://www.abc4.com/badge.