Pittsburg Officer Helps Elderly Resident After Fall

Norma Matzenbacher may call her an "angel" but to Officer Pam McCubbin, acts of kindness are just a part of being an officer at the Pittsburg Police Department.

McCubbin said she didn't hesitate to come back and check on Matzenbacher, an 84-year-old Pittsburg resident who had previously fallen twice at her home.

She was not there the first time Matzenbacher fell and said the true heroes are the first responders who had carried her, monitored her health and took care of any needs.

The second time that day Matzenbacher fell and McCubbin was dispatched to the home, she insisted that Matzenbacher go to the hospital.

"I refused to go to the hospital because I wasn't hurt and I'm stubborn," Matzenbacher said. "We kind of had some words, she insisted that I should go to the hospital.

"I felt that maybe we didn't have a good first impression."

The following day -- to Matzenbacher's surprise -- she heard a knock on her door.

It was McCubbin who came to check on her, except this time she wasn't on duty.

"It's so kind of her to do that," Matzenbacher said. "Darned if she didn't do the same thing this morning."

"I told her it felt like God had given me an angel when I desperately needed one."

McCubbin -- who knew Matzenbacher didn't have family in the area -- decided to go ahead and pop on over to Matzenbacher's house to see if she was doing any better and needed anything. She warmed up breakfast for Matzenbacher and cleaned up after herself. Before she left she also gave Matzenbacher her personal number, the Pittsburg Morning Sun reported.

"I didn't want her to worry about having to go do something in the house if she was still in pain and falling again," McCubbin said.

Matzenbacher and McCubbin spent approximately two hours chatting with one another. They found out that they both have a love for the Kansas City Chiefs.

"When she started talking about the Chiefs I thought, if an 80-year-old woman loves the Chiefs this much then I'm going to let her talk about the Chiefs," McCubbin said. "If she loves Patrick Mahomes, I'm going to let her talk about Patrick Mahomes."

Not only did McCubbin just happen to like the Chiefs, she grew up 15 minutes away from the Arrowhead stadium, she participated in the Derrick Thomas/Neil Smith 3rd and Long Foundation while in middle school -- created by Chiefs players -- and K. C. Wolf came to her school every year.

"I lived 15 minutes away from the stadium so the Chiefs were a big part of anything," she said.

McCubbin said she was inspired by her uncle Ron Rich -- also a Chiefs fan -- who was a retired captain at the Junction City Police Department.

"He is what inspired me to be a police officer and the biggest Chiefs fan and looked incredibly like Andy Reid," she said. "He passed away several years ago due to cancer."

Matzenbacher's grandson, San Antonio, Texas, resident Christopher Matzenbacher, found out his grandmother had fallen twice in one day when McCubbin called him.

He called his grandmother to check on her. She shared with him her story about how she fell on her porch and the first responders who were there for her -- including McCubbin.

"He said it was a great story," Matzenbacher said. "He put it on Facebook and the rest is history."

His post reached over a thousand likes and had hundreds of shares.

"My grandmother and I didn't realize when we shared that post that it would receive all of that publicity and love," Christopher Matzenbacher said.

He said they wanted to share because people do not hear nice things about law enforcement very often.

"In media today there's all of these reports on negative responses on law enforcement," he said. "This is just a good-hearted story."

On a recent Thursday, McCubbin came home from a play her daughter was in and checked her phone. Her phone had "blown up" with several text messages, calls and Facebook notifications.

McCubbin said she was surprised that so many people were shocked to find out that she checked on Matzenbacher.

"It's humbling but -- I think bigger than that -- the biggest message that I want people to get out of this is that this is not uncommon," McCubbin said. "This is very typical of the police department, of fire and of EMS -- locally and nationwide.

"This happens all of the time from all three of those first responder departments. I'm taken aback because it's unfathomable how something like this that is normal for me, it wasn't a question and not a big act.

"Norma needed someone to check on her and I was just checking on her."

McCubbin said she understands many people may not see that side of law enforcement and first responders.

"This isn't me, this is this job, the people that work here, with fire, the medics and EMTs, the Sheriff's Department -- this is them, this is what we do," she said.

Officers on the daily visit elementary school kids just to wish them a good morning, we have officers that buy homeless people food and donate their time to community events and many other acts of kindness, McCubbin said.

"They do these things without thinking, without second guessing," she said.

McCubbin gave credit to the people in her life and applauded first responders for giving their time to others too.

"I only knew to do this because of the people before me," she said. "Like my uncle, and the people here who raised me in law enforcement."

"The big part of all this is bringing recognition to the officers in this department, the deputies in this area, the firemen in Pittsburg Fire Department and the amazing people that work with Crawford County EMS. Because the day that Norma fell, they were the heroes that picked her up and took the time to make sure she was medically OK."

Regardless, Matzenbacher appreciates her "angel."

"She went above and beyond her call of duty for what she did," she said. "I appreciate it; she's such a sweet woman."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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