(WKBN) – Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear badges, and Columbiana County Sheriff Brian McLaughlin recently recognized two deputies for their heroic actions.
On Feb. 24, Deputy Justin Madison was given a Life-Saving Award for saving a fellow instructor during a Taser training seminar last spring.
“We took a break and one of the other instructors started choking on a piece of food,” Madison said. “He started turning very blue and gave the, I guess, international sign for he’s choking, at which point I instructed another deputy that was in the class to go ahead and contact EMS through dispatch.”
Madison acted without hesitation and began performing the Heimlich Maneuver for the first time ever.
“It felt like, ‘Oh my gosh, this lasted hours and hours.’ Within seconds, everything was fine,” Madison said.
Madison said he felt relieved once he realized the other instructor was OK.
“The end result is the main thing, that he was fine,” Madison said.
On March 2, Sheriff McLaughlin also honored Deputy Luke Skidmore with a Life-Saving Award for helping save a driver suffering from a medical emergency on State Route 45 near Lisbon.
“Honestly, to me, whenever I first had contact with the vehicle, I falsely assumed that it could be a drunk or impaired driver just based on the erratic movement and failure to maintain lanes,” Skidmore said. “I was honestly going up to the vehicle thinking this is going to be a drunk driver here at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.”
Once he realized the driver was having a medical emergency, Skidmore contacted dispatch for EMS. As he did that, the driver went unconscious so he removed the driver from the vehicle to properly assess the situation.
“Our local other emergency responders being West Point Fire Department, at this time, have a very rapid response, and they were able to get there quickly and assist with further medical treatment,” Skidmore said.
Skidmore said it’s humbling to help save a life and be recognized, but he could tell countless stories about responders doing similar things every day.
“All police officers are trained in basic first aid. It’s fortunate that we don’t get called upon to use that all the time, but whenever we do, it’s humbling to know you could have potentially saved someone’s life,” Skidmore said. “I’m fortunate enough to be recognized for one of those actions.”