Seven Augusta University Police Department officers have been recognized with the AUPD Lifesaving Award following their response to a welfare check that saved a man’s life earlier this year.
On Jan. 27, Officer Eugene Maes responded to a call regarding a man believed to be sleeping in a stairwell on the Health Sciences Campus. Upon arriving at the scene, Maes attempted to wake the man but found him to be unresponsive. He quickly began performing life-saving actions while notifying AUPD Dispatch about the situation and requesting aid.
Officers Rodriguez Washington and Rebecca Saunders and Sgt. Justin Stowers provided on-scene support until EMS from the Augusta Fire Department arrived.
“This team effort embodies the philosophy of the Augusta University Police Department, in that everyone in the community is treated with dignity and respect, and that the sanctity of life, no matter what the circumstances, is of highest priority,” said AUPD Chief James Lyon. “These team members have lived out the core values of AUPD: professionalism, integrity, excellence and respect. I was extremely honored to be able to recognize these team members for their actions.”
Capt. Harry Smith commended the team’s swift action to save the victim.
“When Officer Maes discovered the victim in the stairwell, the victim was, for all intents and purposes, dead. Officer Maes took quick and decisive action to assess and treat the victim. Sgt. Stowers, Officer Washington and Officer Saunders made themselves ready to assist Officer Maes and each in their own way contributed to saving the victim’s life. When I reviewed the body worn camera footage of this incident, I was impressed with the smooth teamwork and support each officer gave the other,” said Smith.
“I saw diligence combined with compassion in the work of each officer during this call. I was also impressed by the communication between Dispatch and the officers in the field. I learned from Communications Service supervisor Robin Daniel that the communications effort was shared by all three CSOs on duty so that radio traffic, CAD entries and external communications to EMS/911 Dispatch and the Hospital Dispatch were seamless. It is not hyperbolic to say the total sum of this team effort was quite literally bringing the victim back to life.”
Based upon the information from the incident report and upon Smith’s recommendation, Maes, Washington, Saunders and Stowers, as well as communications service officers Rijunite McElheney, Jean Jenkins and Jayme Angel, were awarded the AUPD Lifesaving Award at a private ceremony.