Three officers and a dispatcher at the Powell Police Department were recognized Monday for exhibiting “prompt and alert actions in the line of duty” that helped save three lives earlier this year.
Officer David Ferguson and Sgt. Chad Miner were joined by dispatcher Twyla Segura at Monday’s meeting of the Powell City Council, where they were presented plaques by Chief Roy Eckerdt. Ferguson and Miner received the city’s Life Saving Medal, while Segura was presented a Letter of Commendation for their roles in three separate life-saving efforts. Officer Kade Richmond was also awarded a Life Saving Medal, but was unable to attend the meeting.
“These instances are just an example of what goes on every day [for police officers],” Eckerdt said. “The officers truly go above and beyond on ambulance calls.”
Officer Kade Richmond and communications officer Twyla Segura
On May 8, Segura received a 911 call stating someone was having an asthma attack. She instinctively realized there was more to the story, and dispatched officers to the scene to assist responding EMTs.
“We’re very fortunate here at Powell PD with our communication center in that we have a lot of years of experience,” Eckerdt said, adding, “When the call came in, based on the information being given and the history of the people making the phone call, Twyla [Segura] determined there was something more going on than what they were initially reporting.”
Officer Richmond arrived on scene prior to EMS to find the person laboring to breathe. When the person stopped breathing completely, Richmond administered CPR until EMS arrived, then assisted emergency personnel until the patient could be transported.
The emergency room doctor stated that the patient would have died “without officer and dispatcher intervention.”
“There’s so much other stuff that we [the police department] do that people just never hear about,” Eckerdt said. “So it’s important when there’s an opportunity like this to get the word out there that there’s so much more involved than just being a traditional police officer.”
Officer David Ferguson
Additionally, back on April 9, officer Ferguson and former officer Joshua Strom “distinguished themselves by performing CPR on a male who had stopped breathing due to a [heroin] overdose,” according to the citation. The patient had turned blue by the time the officers arrived.
“Officer Ferguson performed CPR on the patient in a narrow hallway of the trailer,” Eckerdt said. “It’s difficult to do CPR in that situation, especially with everything else going on in the trailer. There’s just no space to move.”
By the time EMS arrived, the patient’s color had returned.
The citation went on to say that the “swift actions of Officer Ferguson and Officer Strom were key in maintaining life until EMS could arrive.”
Sgt. Chad Miner
Finally, back on March 24, Sgt. Miner and Strom responded to the Powell American Legion Hall following a call reporting that a volunteer had suffered a massive heart attack. Two other American Legion volunteers, Sarah Anderson and Patty Paulsen, administered CPR until help was on scene. Once there, Miner and Strom performed CPR and utilized a department-issued defribillator until EMS arrived.
Emergency room doctors credited the quick and decisive action of the officers “as the only reason the patient survived. ... Sgt. Miner’s dedication to duty is a credit to himself, the Powell Police Department and the City of Powell,” according to the citation.
Miner is in his 15th year with the department, and has been a sergeant since 2011.
Going above and beyond for the community
Chief Eckerdt said that seeing the role his officers are fulfilling within the community gives him a sense of pride and satisfaction; awards such as the Life Saving Medal reinforce each officer’s commitment and dedication for the City of Powell and its residents.
“One of my original goals and my vision when I took over as chief was I wanted the community to refer to us as ‘our’ police department, not ‘the’ police department,” Eckerdt said. “This stuff moves in that direction. Not one of these officers did what they did thinking they were going to get recognized for it. It was purely about preservation of life and the human element.”
Eckerdt pointed out that police departments, especially in larger communities, don’t routinely show up with the ambulance in emergency calls.
“If they do show up, they’re there to watch and help push the gurney,” Eckerdt said. “This is in nobody’s job description. This is going above and beyond to provide that service to the community.”
Eckerdt said the department is fortunate to have the staff it does, with each member taking pride in their responsibilities.
“Everyone here truly cares for our community and our citizens,” Eckerdt said. “Beyond all this, we’re locking up houses, we’re giving rides to the hospital, we’re making sure they got keys to get back in their house — all that extraneous stuff that needs to be done, that EMS, in the middle of a call, doesn’t have time to deal with.”
“Powell is very fortunate in the relationship between fire and EMS and the PD,” the chief added. “We all work together, we all have a common end game, a common goal. It’s good to see, because there are a lot of places where it’s not like that.”