AUSTIN – On August 24, the Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw presented four Lifesaving Awards and three Director’s Awards to DPS employees and law enforcement partners in Austin.
“We are proud to honor our officers and public servants for their lifesaving efforts and selfless service,” said Director McCraw. “Each of these honorees is receiving an award because of their instinct to help others without hesitation. Each of them has made a lasting difference in the lives of others, and in many cases, given someone a second chance at life. We can’t thank them enough for their bravery and dedication to serving their fellow Texans.”
The following awards were presented:
- Trooper Eric Ochoa, Highway Patrol Brownsville, received a Lifesaving Award. On April 13, 2017, Trooper Ochoa pulled over a vehicle for disregarding a traffic control device and speeding. The driver exited the vehicle and ran towards the patrol unit stating her child was choking. A male passenger also exited the vehicle carrying an unresponsive infant in his arms. Ochoa immediately recognized the child could not breathe, and notified Weslaco DPS Communications to dispatch an ambulance. Trooper Ochoa quickly took action that enabled him to dislodge a small piece of fruit, allowing the child to breathe again.
- Special Agent Robert Cameron, Criminal Investigations Austin, received a Lifesaving Award. On April 24, 2017, while off duty at an event, Agent Cameron noticed another guest exhibiting signs of distress – choking and having difficulty breathing. As Cameron approached the guest to ask if he needed assistance, the man began losing consciousness, but was able to nod his head “yes” confirming he was in fact choking. Agent Cameron positioned himself and effectively performed the Heimlich maneuver, which dislodged the obstruction, allowing the man to resume breathing normally.
- Trooper Lynn Mays, Highway Patrol Clarendon, received a Lifesaving Award. On Nov. 30, 2016, Trooper Mays was approaching his residence for a lunch break when he heard the Donley County Sheriff’s Office dispatch EMS to a residence nearby. Trooper Mays immediately responded and found a female attempting to administer CPR on an unconscious male subject, who was unresponsive and not breathing. Mays immediately took over and administered CPR until EMS arrived and continued with advanced lifesaving treatment. EMS personnel later advised the subject would have not survived without Trooper Mays’ quick arrival and administering proper CPR.
- Trooper Damon Allen, Groesbeck Highway Patrol, received a Lifesaving Award and Barbara Sullivan received a Director’s Award. On April 13, 2017, Barbara Sullivan’s husband suffered a heart attack and collapsed at their residence in Wortham. Mrs. Sullivan contacted 911 for medical assistance and immediately began performing CPR on her husband, which she continued for several minutes. Trooper Allen overheard the medical call and responded to the residence. When Allen arrived, he observed a male subject lying on the ground and Barbara Sullivan performing CPR. Trooper Allen took over performing CPR on the subject for several minutes before first responders arrived on the scene, attached a defibrillator and continued lifesaving measures.
- Deputy Eric Molina, Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, received a Director's Award. On Nov. 7, 2016, Deputy Molina was dispatched to a vehicle stuck in the middle of a flooded low water crossing. While in route, Molina had been advised the vehicle had a single occupant and the water had risen above the headlamps. As he arrived on the scene, he observed Trooper Franklin Randolph standing in the water next to the vehicle as the Trooper was pulling out the driver still trapped inside. Deputy Molina quickly retrieved his rescue throw rope from his patrol unit and threw it out for Trooper Randolph, and pulled them both to safety. (Trooper Randolph previously received a Lifesaving Award for his role in the rescue.)
- Gilbert Jordan, Texas Department of Transportation, received a Director's Award. As Emergency Management Coordinator with the Texas Department of Transportation, Jordan has assisted the DPS for approximately 40 years, helping with numerous requests ranging from emergency to pre-planning operations. More recently, at multiple protests and rallies at the State Capitol, he helped coordinate barricades for intersections to protect citizens and visitors from vehicular threats, while still allowing movement of the protesters.
- Also at the PSC meeting, the Texas DPS Foundation announced $5,000 scholarships for each of the 10 recipients of the 2017-2018 Academic Scholarship program. The recipients were selected from 120 applicants. The Foundation provides scholarships to DPS employees and their children for study at post-secondary educational institutions and continuing education for DPS employees. For more information, please see Texas DPS Foundation.
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