West Carrollton honors employees who helped save lives

West Carrollton recently honored several employees who took life-saving measures in separate incidents.

Street Department Supervisor Todd Pemberton was approached by a co-worker at the service garage in January who told him he wasn’t feeling well and looked pale.

“That employee said ‘I’m OK, I just need to go home and lie down,’ ” Service Director Rich Norton said at an award ceremony held during city council’s most recent meeting. “When the man twice more declined being examined by medics before he went home, Pemberton insisted, taking “quick, decisive action” by calling 911.

Medics got the man to the hospital. He was having a heart attack, but received treatment in time.

“Todd Pemberton’s concern for his co-worker and persistence that he be examined by trained medical personnel directly contributed to saving the employee’s life,” said West Carrollton Police Chief Doug Woodard. “The doctors that had done the procedure stated that if the employee had not arrived at the hospital when he did and if he had gone home to lay down, he probably would have passed away.”

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The second incident occurred in May during one of the city’s scheduled large trash pick-ups and involved Service Department employees Billy Branham, Matt Gustin and Nick Kolb.

The three men were driving from house to house, picking up items that residents had set out for pickup. One crew stopped at a home discarding a large glass table top. Another two-person crew was loading items a couple of houses away.

“As the first crew lifted the glass up and were preparing to place it in the back of the truck, the glass top cracked and then broke apart,” Woodard said. “A large part of the broken glass then sliced across the forearm of one of the service workers, causing a very deep laceration.”

Immediately, the wound began bleeding profusely, he said. The service worker that was with the injured employee as well as the other two service workers sprang into action.

Branham removed his belt, used a T-shirt for pressure and applied a makeshift tourniquet to the arm of the injured worker to slow the bleeding. Kolb helped to readjust the tourniquet to maximize its effectiveness and Gustin called 911.

Norton said that Branham later told him, “I didn’t know how to put on a tourniquet. I only knew what I saw on TV.”

“Thankfully, Nick had some experience as a paramedic/EMS and they placed the belt in the right place,” Norton said.

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Branham, Gustin and Kolb continued to attend to their severely injured fellow co-worker until the arrival of medic crews, who rushed the employee to the hospital for treatment.

“The wound was so severe that the emergency room doctor stated that the injured employee would probably have bled to death if the tourniquet was not applied and the other employees did not administer aid like they did,” Woodard said. “The actions of these three service department employees directly contributed to saving the life of their fellow employee.”

The award ceremony marked the first time the West Carrollton Police Department recognized other city employees with a specific award dedicated just to them, Woodard said. It also marked the inaugural presentation of the department’s new Patrick M. McCoy award, which is to be given to a city of West Carrollton employee “for a specific act, series of acts or conduct that is considered to be outstanding,” he said.

McCoy, who died April 13 at 59 years old, served in the Army and then Miami Twp. Police Department for more than 30 years before retiring in 2020. He worked as a transfer officer for the West Carrollton Police Department from February 2021 until his death.

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“But his longevity as a police officer is not the reason for this award,” Woodard said. “It is what he did, the actions he took, and how he lived his life over those 30-plus years in law enforcement that merit this distinction.”

As a West Carrollton Officer, McCoy would volunteer to do things he didn’t have to do, and helped “anyone and everyone” that he could, Woodard said.

“His positive attitude and sense of humor were contagious and he made each day of those officers working around him a little brighter,” he said. “Pat left an indelible mark on our department, even in the short time he was with us.

“This new award strives to honor the man that dedicated his life to the service of others.”

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