For immediate release: August 1, 2017
This afternoon, six Independence Police Officers received lifesaving awards for three separate incidents during the last year.
1. Vehicle Pursuit/House Fire:
Officer Dustin Stewart and Officer Rick Romero
Summary: On the evening of March 19, 2017, Officer Stewart deployed stop sticks in an attempt to stop a fleeing suspect who was in a stolen vehicle. He was able to flatten the driver’s side tires. The suspect swerved in an attempt to avoid the stop sticks and when doing so, lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle crashed into a residence in the 1300 block of E. 23rd St. When doing so, the vehicle struck the natural gas main and knocked the house off its foundation by several feet. The gas main that was struck resulted in both the residence and the vehicle catching on fire.
Officers Stewart and Romero approached the house while it was on fire and attempted to open the front door which was pinned by the iron railing from the front porch. Officer Stewart kicked the glass storm door as well as the front entry door and called out for the resident of the house. Officers Stewart and Romero helped the elderly resident, who was on oxygen, crawl through the storm door and lead him away from the now fully engulfed house. If not for the actions of Officer Stewart and Romero, the resident would have surely died in the fire, due to the fact that the house was fully engulfed within 90 seconds. Officers Stewart and Romero are receiving the Life Saving Award for their actions.
2. Attempt Suicide
Officer Maggy Chapman and Officer Ian Storey
Summary: On May 15, 2017, Officers Maggie Chapman and Ian Storey were dispatched to the wooded area near 24 Hwy and River regarding a suicidal subject. Upon arriving in the area, the officers located a subject in the wooded area behind the strip mall, hanging from a tree with steel wire wrapped around his neck. The subject was turning purple and was struggling to breathe.
Officer Chapman positioned herself underneath the subject and lifted to relieve tension from his neck, while Officer Storey removed the wiring from around the subject’s neck. AMR responded and transported the subject to the hospital for treatment. If it were not for the efforts of both officers, the subject would have undoubtedly died. Officers Chapman and Storey are receiving the Life Saving Award for their actions.
3. Vehicle Stop/ Overdose:
Officer Jason Cundiff and Officer Ed Wisdom
Summary: On September 8, 2016, Officer Cundiff conducted a traffic stop for speeding. Upon contacting the driver, he was advised that the female passenger was suffering from an overdose. Officer Cundiff observed that the passenger was unresponsive and was breathing shallow. Officer Cundiff ordered an ambulance and while waiting for the ambulance to arrive, the passenger stopped breathing and had no pulse. Officers Cundiff and Wisdom began CPR until AMR arrived on scene and took over. A short time later the passenger’s pulse returned and she began breathing on her own. She was transported to an area hospital where she was admitted and expected to survive. Officers Cundiff and Wisdom are receiving the Lifesaving Award for their actions, which undoubtedly saved the woman’s life.