Law Enforcement Heroes | CT Red Cross

Law Enforcement

Officers Cornelius J. Carmody and Scott Meikle

Officers Cornelius J. Carmody and Scott Meikle

Sponsor: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Last December, two Norwich police officers were among the first to arrive at the scene of a house fire and soon learned from one of the occupants that a family member was still inside on the second floor. Officers Carmody and Meikle took decisive action that would put them both at risk, but ultimately saved the life of a young man trapped in the home.

When he arrived on the scene to find smoke pouring from second floor windows and learned that someone was in need of rescue, Officer Carmody immediately ran in the house and climbed the stairs. He was quickly followed by Officer Meikle. The two men found the smoke so thick at the top of the stairs that they were unsure whether they could proceed, but they spotted something moving on the floor and soon determined it was a person. Together, the two officers retrieved the victim and carried him down the stairs and out of the home. He was covered in soot and appeared to have burns. Officer Carmody was able to find a blanket on the first floor of the home and Officer Meikle used the blanket to cover the victim while they awaited an ambulance.

Talking again with one of the building occupants, Officer Carmody learned that a young girl who also lived in the house was unaccounted for. Officer Carmody, Officer Meikle and other colleagues from the police force re-entered the home and searched the first floor. After a search produced no results, Officer Carmody further questioned the resident and learned that her granddaughter might be at a neighboring house. Officer Carmody ran to the nearby house, verified the young girl’s safety and returned to the fire scene.

City of Norwich Police Captain Patrick Daley, who nominated Officers Carmody and Meikle, noted their bravery and valor. He also noted that both men entered the home with no protective gear of any kind. “I am a 26-year veteran of a volunteer fire department and have served as a volunteer fire chief for the past 13 years. It is my opinion, based on my training and experience, that (the man rescued) is alive today due to the efforts of Officers Carmody and Meikle.”

For their part, both officers were surprised, honored and humbled to receive recognition for their actions. Both said they would do it again if faced with such circumstances.

Richard Dunn

richard dunn law enforcement ct hero

Sponsor: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

A career law enforcement official, Richard Dunn, has received American Red Cross training in CPR, AED and First Aid on many occasions, but the most recent training he received was very timely. With his training fresh in his mind, Dunn, a security officer with the Department of Homeland Security, was able to save his son’s life.

Richard was home watching television one evening with his sons, Eric, Brendan and Stephen, when Eric began choking on a piece of beef jerky. At first, no one realized that Eric was in distress, but he quickly became agitated and his face began to color. He ran to the bathroom, followed by his brothers, who soon began calling for their father to help.

Ironically, Eric, a lifeguard, had Red Cross training, but his brothers did not. Only Richard had the information to react to the situation. He said that, when he entered the bathroom and saw his son, “it was automatic how the training just kicked in.” He told Eric what was happening and that he was going to help. He administered five abdominal thrusts and dislodged the food blocking Eric’s airway.

“In all my years of law enforcement… never did I have the moment to use my Red Cross training until now and the person I was helping was my own son,” Richard says he remembers thinking after the incident. And as he was helping Eric, he says he could hear the words of his training officer, Lt. John Gagain, who told Richard and his classmates that they would probably end up helping a friend or family member with their training.

When he next saw Lt. Gagain, Richard shared his story. Lt. Gagain nominated Richard for this recognition, noting that Richard “paid attention… and it paid off.” Lt. Gagain took time in his nomination to mention American Red Cross Health & Safety Services Instructor, Caren Distel, for “the outstanding job” she did training the instructors in Lt. Gagain’s class.

Shaileen Morton

shaileen morton

Sponsor: People’s United Bank

One evening last November, Milford 911 Dispatcher Shaileen Morton took a call that would require her to use all her training, compassion and composure to help save a life.

Dispatcher Morton was on duty at approximately 8:30 p.m. when she answered a call from a young man who reported that his 85 year old grandmother was choking. Morton immediately put her training into action.

Alerting her partner to dispatch the appropriate fire department units to the scene, Morton calmly returned to the phone. Understanding that the choking victim’s son was attending her, Morton gave instructions to the caller on how to treat choking. After guiding the woman’s son through the abdominal thrust procedure, he was able to successfully dislodge a piece of food that was completely blocking the woman’s airway.

While emergency responders sped to the scene, Dispatcher Morton remained on the phone to offer support and help the victim’s family members keep her comfortable.

In his incident report, Captain Wetmore of the responding fire crew noted that the son reported he was only able to help his mother after Morton guided him through the abdominal thrust procedure. In his report, he said “the outcome could have been worse.”

In nominating her colleague, Supervising Dispatcher Donna Cooke said, “I am proud to have the privilege of calling Shaileen my colleague.”

David Rivera, John Carrano, Michael Cantrell, Fabio Pereira and Eliud Henry II

David Rivera, John Carrano, Michael Cantrell, Fabio Pereira and Eliud Henry II

Sponsor: Webster Bank

Teamwork and bravery helped to bring a swift conclusion to a frightening and deadly drive-by shooting in Bridgeport. Working together, acting quickly and acting without regard for their own safety, five police officers were able to apprehend murder suspects before they could escape and potentially commit other crimes.

October 30, 2012 found Officers Carrano and Rivera on patrol when they heard multiple gunshots. Moving toward the sound, they radioed their situation back to Bridgeport dispatch. The officers arrived at a chaotic and crowded scene where a man lay gravely wounded in the middle of the street. While Officer Carrano radioed for medical assistance and began to identify and question witnesses, Officer Rivera began tending the victim, providing care until medical personnel arrived and trying to gather more information from the man about his assailants.

Carrano and Rivera gathered important details about the shooters and their vehicle which they radioed back to dispatch. Officer Henry, patrolling nearby and monitoring Carrano’s and Rivera’s transmissions, estimated the vehicle’s location and soon observed a vehicle fitting the description. He radioed the information and the suspect vehicle’s license number and circled back toward the vehicle. His transmissions were picked up by Officers Cantrell and Pereira, who were nearby. Cantrell and Pereira were soon able to cut off the suspect vehicle at an intersection while Officer Henry approached from behind. Together, the three men were able to halt the vehicle and apprehend five suspects. A Detective Unit recovered two firearms from the vehicle.

While the other officers were locating and apprehending the suspects, Officer Rivera had proceeded to the hospital with the victim, comforting him during the trip and talking with him.

While the victim ultimately died of his wounds, the officers’ nominator, Captain Robert Gearing, noted that the quick apprehension of five parties responsible for the crime “undoubtedly saved lives in that there would have been a high probability for pay back on the streets of Bridgeport.” Gearing praised the quick action, bravery in the apprehension of armed suspects in flight and the “excellent work” of the officers involved.