Kearney officers perform complicated rescue to save boy who suffered lengthy fall

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KEARNEY, Mo. -- "We're not heroes." That's what one Kearney police officer is saying after officers  rescued an 11-year-old boy who tumbled into a creek bed.

Police say it was no simple task, forming a "bucket line" with other local first responders in pulling the pre-teen boy from the banks of Clear Creek on Thursday night. Dispatchers say their phones started to ring around 6:30 p.m., asking for help in rescuing an 11-year old boy who had been playing behind Mari Mac Golf Course.

Kolbi Roach and his mother, Katie Solf, told FOX 4 News he and a family member had been dangling their feet over the water's edge when Kolbi lost his footing and fell down the banks. Roach is a resident of Rose Hill, Kan., but was in Kearney visiting his grandmother, who didn't know he was visiting the creek.

Kearney police officers Alan Hale and Elaine Kross were among the local first responders called to help pull Roach out of a jam.

“The total drop -- what would you say, 60 foot? I'd say he fell about half of it. It was about 25 or 30 feet down,” Ofc. Hale said. “The biggest part was getting to him safely.

Kross is a veteran police officer, but Thursday was her first day on the job with Kearney’s Police Department.

“(Roach was) Sitting there saying, ‘help me’,” Ofc. Kross said.

Solf calls Kolbi her "daredevil child,” and that he's prone to get into mischief. Golf course managers tell FOX 4 News that area has been closed due to recent flooding, and a fence that would normally separate people from the creek was washed out. Areas of the golf course closer to the highway are still open for play.

“Everything was wet,” Ofc. Hale said. “Everything was muddy. Everything was gooey. There was no easy way to do it.”

Solf, as well as other social media users, say the first responders should be commended for their heroism.

“I really don't,” Ofc. Hale said, when asked if these first responders are heroes. “It's what we signed up to do, is help people, and that's what we do.”

Kolbi's injuries amount only to bumps and bruises, and a lesson learned.

Members of the Kearney Fire Department also helped with the rescue on Thursday night.