Quick action by HPD helps rescue Maylene man
Published 3:58 pm Monday, March 14, 2016
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
HELENA–A single-vehicle accident in the area of Shelby County 17 and Fox Valley Farms resulted in a victim with a severed limb, but without the quick response of the Helena Police Department, the end result could’ve been much worse.
At 4:01 p.m. on Sunday, March 13, Helena Police received a call of a motor vehicle accident with injuries in the area of Shelby County 17 and Fox Valley Farms near the Alabaster-Helena line.
Upon arrival, Helena police Sgt. Charles Hudson and officers Michael Nelson and Michael Taquino observed a black Ford F-150 with severe damage approximately 75 yards off the roadway in an open pasture, according to the police department.
Hudson immediately ran toward the vehicle to check on the condition of the driver while Nelson and Taquino located witnesses and secured the scene for arrival of the fire department, before rushing to assist Hudson.
When he arrived at the wrecked vehicle, Hudson found the driver seriously injured with a severed left arm and bleeding profusely from the severed limb.
Hudson pulled out his department-issued rescue tourniquet and applied it to the affected limb. The tourniquet was effectively able to stop the severe bleeding until paramedics arrived on the scene.
The victim was then transported to University Hospital by Lifesaver helicopter in critical, but stable, condition as of March 13.
According to the police, an off-duty EMT arrived on the scene and immediately located the severed limb in the roadway and packed it in ice in a way to ensure the best chance of reattachment at the hospital.
Just two weeks prior, the HPD conducted service training on how to apply the rescue tourniquets, and Helena Police Chief Pete Folmar believes Hudson’s use of the rescue tourniquet greatly impacted the end result for the crash victim.
“The city purchased those tourniquets for us and Lt. Flynn and some others went to training classes for an active shooter situation and they talked about how important the tourniquets could be,” said Folmar. “If there is an active shooter situation, the medics can’t normally get to the scene. If someone has been shot and is losing a lot of blood, officers have the ability to use the tourniquets in those situations now. The tourniquets also have a much larger application than just active shooter situations, just like what happened with this wreck. “I can’t tell you 100 percent that he saved that gentleman’s life, but I think that’s a pretty good bet. At that point no 911 call had been made other than Charlie calling it in on the radio. It would’ve been several minutes for the police and fire but the difference was Charlie was there, he had the tools he needed and he had the training to use them.”
Folmar said the rescue tourniquets are not something that is issued county or statewide, and Helena was lucky enough to receive them.
“After they went to the active shooter class we thought that it’d be a great thing to have,” said Folmar. “The mayor and city council approved it in the budget and we got them. It didn’t take much to convince the council to approve purchasing the tourniquets.”
Folmar also commended the actions of Hudson saying “Charlie is an excellent police officer and sergeant and I wouldn’t of expected anything less from him.”