Tulsa Police Department - Lifesaving Awards

Thursday, March 1st 2007, 10:16 pm

By: News On 6

An award to any member of the Tulsa Police Department for sustaining the life of any human being through the practice of first aid, either on or off duty, except those persons employed as medics or ambulance attendants, and where substantiated by a medical doctor that without aid, a loss of human life would have occurred. This award may also be made to any officer who, through outstanding or appropriate actions, saves the life of another officer or citizen.

Officer Dave Hickman
On Sunday, March 19th, Officer Dave Hickman's family was at his home, preparing to leave from a visit. Officer Hickman's father Donald Hickman collapsed in the front yard. Two minutes passed before anyone realized he was missing. When he was found, officer Hickman assessed his father's condition. He could tell his color wasn’t good; he didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing. Officer Hickman quickly instructed his mother Sharon how to conduct the breathing as he began life saving chest compressions, as his wife called 911. Donald Hickman's doctor told the family that the quick actions of Officer Hickman saved his father's life and his recovery was nothing short of a miracle.

Officers Kerry Whitten and Tommy Barbee
On February 26th, 2006, Officer Tommy Barbee was working his regular assignment in the Uniform Division Southwest Selective Enforcement Unit when he was flagged down by a resident of the Woodbine Apartments at 5100 South Delaware Place and told an apartment was on fire. He could see smoke and flames coming out of an upstairs window. A citizen told Officer Barbee one man lived in that apartment. He didn’t know it then, but the man was having a major seizure inside the burning apartment. Officer Barbee climbed the stairs and kicked in the door. Heavy black smoke made it nearly impossible to see, but without regard to his own safety, Officer Barbee entered the apartment, found the victim and began to drag him to safety. He couldn’t find the door because of the thick smoke and called out for help. Officer Kerry Whitten stepped in, found them and helped pull the victim outside. Paramedics say had the man been inside just 40 more seconds, he would have died.

Cpl. Terry Maurer
On February 4th, Cpl. Terry Maurer was conducting a traffic stop on East 21st Street South when he noticed a vehicle parked inside a garage bay at a nearby tire store with the taillights on. Both of the bay doors were shut, and Cpl. Maurer could tell there was a man inside the running vehicle. Cpl. Maurer directed Officer Simmons and Tulsa Police Reserve Officer J. Hardy to enter the building and they found the bay filled with exhaust fumes. They turned off the car and pulled the man outside. Once revived, he told Cpl. Maurer he was waiting in the garage for his car to warm up when he became sleepy from the fumes. There is no doubt Cpl. Maurer's alertness and the quick action on the part of (all the officers) saved this man’s life.

Sgt. Mike Parsons and Officer Toni Hill
On September 12th, 2005, Sgt. Mike Parsons was driving north on U.S. Highway 75 when he came upon a motorcycle crash. He saw the victim lying in the middle of the highway next to the wrecked motorcycle. Sgt Parsons saw that the victim's left leg was detached, notified EMSA and secured the scene. He could tell the victim was losing a lot of blood, so without hesitation, applied pressure to the artery to stop the bleeding. Officer Antonia Hill arrived and assisted Sgt. Parsons in this effort. Sgt. Parsons asked a witness for their belt and he and Officer Hill made a tourniquet to apply pressure and stop the bleeding. A registered nurse at St. John's said without the quick thinking and actions of Sgt. Parsons and Officer Hill, the victim would have bled to death before ever getting to the hospital.

Officers Richard Farmer, Callison Kaiser, Janet Miller, Cpl. Dave Witt, Sgt. Rex Mann
On August 3rd, 2005, Officer Richard Farmer and Officer in Training Callison Kaiser were assigned to check on people in the Arkansas River near the low water dam. Officer Farmer saw three boys in the river and two additional boys underwater. Sgt. Rex Mann and Officer Janet Miller used ropes to pull the three visible teenagers to safety. Corporal Dave Witt assisted one of the submerged boys, giving him instructions on how to keep his head above water until he was rescued. The remaining 15-year-old male was being held underwater by the current. One of the boys, secured by a rope, was directed over to the submerged boy and held his head above water until Fire Department crews could get to him.
Because of the actions of these officers, all five boys survived the ordeal and are back with their families.

Officer Matt Snow
On September 23rd, 2005, officers were assigned to a suicidal subject at an apartment at 107th East Avenue. Officers spoke with the man's father who said he had received an e-mail from his son saying he was going to kill himself. The father said the son did not have any weapons and that his car was parked in the parking lot. Officers learned the man did have a history of trying to kill himself. They couldn’t find him, so began searching. Officer Matt Snow squeezed in between a couple of trash dumpsters, surrounded by a privacy fence and saw the man on his knees with a shotgun pointed at his chin. Officer Snow grabbed the gun and made a hasty retreat. Because of his quick actions, the man lived to receive help.

Officers Matt Crutchfield, Steve Day, Josh Dupler and Mike Kennedy
On November 16th, 2005, Officers Matt Crutchfield, Steve Day, Mike Kennedy and Josh Dupler responded to a shots heard call on South 137th East Avenue. They didn’t initially find anything but kept looking through the area. Officer Kennedy went to a window at a nearby home and saw two bloody victims lying on the floor. Officers Crutchfield and Dupler knocked and announce, then forced entry to provide medical assistance. As the rooms were being cleared for suspects, they found a female lying in the kitchen floor dead from a gunshot wound and another female and a male in the bedroom, both also shot. Those officers stayed while Officers Day and Kennedy cleared the home. Officer Crutchfield assisted firefighters with entering the home, keeping them from the area that had yet been cleared. A pulse was found on one of the females and she was taken to St. John’s.
Had these officers not persisted, this would have been a quadruple murder rather than a triple murder.

Corporal Phil Snow
On Thursday, December 1st, 2005, Uniform Division Southwest officers were assigned to a fight call with a person down at the westbound bar. A woman was down as result of the fight and she was not conscious or breathing. Corporal Phil Snow was one of the many officers who responded. He saw the victim’s sister trying to perform CPR but she wasn’t having much success, so he took over. He got her breathing again, but then she’d quit, so he had to do CPR many more times to get her to breathe again. Had it not been for his decisive actions and refusal to give up, she would surely be dead today.

Officers Ian Chambers and Travis Taverna
On June 6th, 2006, Officer Travis Taverna and Officer Ian Chambers responded to a first degree burglary in progress at 1825 North Utica with a masked suspect at the rear of the house. When the officers arrived, the north side of the house was on fire and the house was surrounded by a locked 5-foot fence. Without hesitation, both Officer Taverna and Officer Chambers climbed the fence and contacted the homeowner, Kimberly Reed. Ms. Reed was scared and shocked and hesitated. That prompted Officer Taverna to ask her if anybody else was inside. She said her children were still in the house. Officer Taverna and Officer Chambers found them and got them out safely. Had Officers Taverna and Chambers not brought the fire to the attention of the homeowner and her children, the occupants would’ve mostly liked died in the fire. It was later determined the hooded suspect had set that fire.

Officer Joe Gamboa
On September 29th, Officer Joe Gamboa was off-duty and going to a community meeting, when he saw an ambulance parked on the side of the highway. Gamboa thought it was unusual and stopped to ask the crew if they were alright. He saw three people trying to save the life of a cardiac arrest victim, Donald Sappington. EMT April Wheeler told Gamboa all three EMT’s working on the patient were needed to keep him alive and asked Gamboa to drive the ambulance to St. Francis. If it weren’t for Officer Gamboa’s conscientious behavior, even off-duty, the outcome may have been much different.

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