BLACKFOOT – Blackfoot’s only professional security firm received a gift of appreciation Monday from the widow of a patient they transported From Rexburg to Salt Lake City earlier this year.
Barbara Zankie, whose husband Peter suffered from dementia, presented members of Blue Knight Security with three hand-made quilts she said were intended to help provide warmth for the team members and people they transport.
“You were incredibly patient and so kind to him, and I can’t tell you how much that means to someone who’s lost the person they loved for 30 years,” Mrs. Zankie told Blue Knight staffers who received the gifts.
She explained that her husband had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, and one day last summer took a turn for the worse. He began acting uncharacteristically strange, and as his puzzling behavior continued to worsen she realized she needed help in getting him to a doctor. She called the Rexburg police for assistance, Mrs. Zankie said.
“They were all so kind,” she said. “They spent an hour getting him out of the house and to the hospital.”
At the hospital, her husband’s condition deteriorated rapidly, she said, and he became increasingly violent. The hospital staff, unable to deal with Peter’s behavior or ascertain what was causing it, decided he needed help they weren’t equipped to provide and needed someone with the capability of dealing with his condition while transferring him to another hospital.
Blue Knight Security was called to take him to Salt Lake City where an MRI showed a large tumor had developed on the left side of his brain, Mrs. Zankie said. “The tumor was inoperable. They kept him there four weeks, then sent him home. He died four days later, but I will never forget the gentleness and care he was shown by your people, who were so kind to him during the saddest time of my life.”
It was her friend Brenda Marx, mistress of the Hibbert Quilting Club, who conceived the idea of gifting the people who helped her husband with the quilts, designed and made them, Mrs. Zankie said.
Blue Knight Security was founded three years ago by Ryan Anthony, then a member of the Blackfoot Police Department and now a Bannock County Sheriff’s deputy, to provide secure and professional services when there is a need to move mental health patients or prisoners who need transporting from one location or one facility to another.
The business is staffed alternately by 65 law enforcement officers from the Bingham and Bannock County Sheriff’s Offices, the Blackfoot Police Department and the Idaho State Police, who work there on their days off. Bingham County 911 Supervisor Erin Hidalgo is their director of marketing.
According to Hidalgo, Blue Knight Security has contracts with several hospitals and law enforcement agencies, and will go anywhere in the United States they’re needed. “We haven’t been to Canada yet,” she said, “but we have been to Hawaii.”
Their headquarters are the west half of the Jed Taylor Real Estate building on N. Meridian and their services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.