When a man was struck by a train in Baton Rouge last month, city police were able to give him life-saving first aid before paramedics could get to the scene. Just a few weeks earlier, officers encountered a homeless woman during the cold weather and paid for a hot meal, warm clothes and three nights at a hotel.
Those officers and other emergency staff were honored for several recent magnanimous acts at Wednesday's Metro Council meeting.
In January, Jason Green fell onto a railroad track near Scenic Highway and was struck by a train, losing both legs and an arm. Witnesses called police, and Corporals Mark Cummings, Jace Decote, Scott Johnson and Ivica Tomic freed Green and provided first aid, helping him survive life by applying tourniquets until he could get further medical care, explained Councilman Matt Watson.
Green is currently recovering from his injuries. His cousin Will Simmons tearfully thanked the officers who saved his family member's life.
"I'm glad you are police officers, and I'm even more glad that you represent Baton Rouge," Simmons said.
In 2016, city police received equipment and training through the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to provide specialized medical care if they need to give first aid before an ambulance crew can get to the scene, sometimes because it is still too dangerous to send civilians in, Watson said.
The Tactical Combat Casualty Training is believed to have saved 30 lives last year, the Watson said.
First responders were also commended for their actions during the winter cold.
On Jan. 13, Corporals James Rowe and Hue Pham were alerted to a non-responsive woman on Tom Drive. She told them she was homeless and had hitchhiked in from out of state.
Though she had family in Baton Rouge, she was unable to reach them, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said.
Rowe and Pham tried to find a shelter for the homeless woman, but finding all the beds full, they paid to buy her a hot meal, warm clothes and three nights in a hotel. Broome said the officers' selflessness exemplified the department's high standards.
She also thanked several paramedic and fire engine crews who responded to many injuries and fires during the cold winter days.
Editor's note: This article was changed on Thursday, March 15, 2018, to note that Cpl. Ivica Tomic was one of the Baton Rouge police officers recognized for rendering first aid to a man who had been struck by a train.