Officers honored for life-saving actions

Officers honored for life-saving actionsBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

A long string of awards and proclamations during Wednesday’s city council meeting concluded with the recognition of Ridgecrest Police Department personnel for their life-saving actions over the passed several months.

On three separate occasions since August last year, officers responded to life-threatening situations where their actions ultimately saved the lives of several Ridgecrest residents.

“This is one of the proud moments – recognizing these guys for their great work that they do,” said Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin as he prepared to recognize his officers.

McLaughlin said that on Aug. 29, Officers Ricardo Garibay, John Bartlett, Mike Ogas and Detective Corey Rinaldi were dispatched to the scene of an attempted suicide.

According to McLaughlin, the victim had already cut her wrists and officers found her suffering from an arterial bleed in her bathroom. They immediately rendered medical aid, but the victim started fighting them back.

“They were able to take the victim under control, exit the residence, apply a tourniquet and get the medical attention that person needed,” said McLaughlin

Later on Nov. 18 Bartlett, Ogas and Rinaldi responded to reports of a subject who wasn’t breathing.

McLaughlin reported that officers arrived on the scene where they discovered the subject was breathing, but only very faintly. The subject collapsed in Bartlett’s arms. The officers immediately initiated CPR until the ambulance arrived.

“The subject was flown out and, because of these three, is still alive today,” said McLaughlin.

On March 25, Officers Matthew Rowland, Erik Hallmark and Detective Eric Clinton responded to a call about an 18-month-old child who was having difficulty breathing. The child and mother were staying at the women’s shelter and the child was reportedly suffering from a severe allergic reaction after ingesting peanut oil.

Carol Beecroft, who was awarded earlier that evening for her decades of service with the Women’s Center-High Desert, also commented on the officers’ actions.

“Detective Clinton was in ‘dad mode’ as well as being law enforcement,” said Beecroft. “He dropped everything, they scooped up the baby and took him immediately to the emergency room. We were later notified by the emergency room doctor that had they not done that, the baby probably would not have made it.

“We’re very proud of you guys and thank you so much for always being there for us.”

Pictured: Life-saving heroes (from left) Det. Eric Clinton, Officer Matt Rowland, Det. Corey Rinaldi, Officer John Bartlett, Officer Michael Ogas, Officers Ritchey Garibay and Officer Erik Hallmark were honored for their actions — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2019-05-03