Law enforcement officers are challenged daily in the performance of their duties; they face each encounter freely and unselfishly while answering the call to duty. In certain instances, their actions warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the law enforcement profession.
Special Agent John Garcia of the FBI’s Phoenix office, Flagstaff resident agency, was driving through “the middle of nowhere” when he came across a single-vehicle accident. As he drew closer, he saw two people laying on the ground and a civilian running in circles.
When Garcia pulled up to check on the situation, the civilian yelled that a woman was trapped under the car and had a compound fracture. Garcia parked his vehicle, brought along his tourniquet, and went for a closer look. By this time, two men, the civilian and one of the car’s occupants, were trying to lift the vehicle off the woman. Garcia got under the car and started pushing with them. Although they stabilized the vehicle on its side, it would not stay up.
Finally, using leverage, they got the car into a better position. Garcia noticed that the woman was screaming, crying, and bleeding profusely from a huge gash on her right thigh. He positioned his tourniquet above the wound and tightened it as much as possible.
As the woman cried in pain and struggled to remain conscious, Garcia and a second civilian, a former Marine, helped her stay awake. Garcia stayed with her and used one arm to leverage the car to keep it up. A third civilian stopped to help support the vehicle.
Given the remoteness of the area, it took approximately 30 minutes for emergency medical personnel to arrive. As he waited, Garcia was concerned that the woman suffered internal injuries and perhaps a second broken leg.
The men talked to the woman to help her stay alert. During this time, Flagstaff resident agency supervisor Brian Fuller arrived and helped hold the car. Additional law enforcement also came and helped further stabilize the vehicle until emergency medical personnel arrived.
Days later, Garcia called the hospital to ask about the woman’s condition. Thankfully, she survived.
Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based on either the rescue of one or more citizens or an arrest(s) made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions should include a short write-up, a separate photograph of each nominee, and a letter from the department’s ranking officer endorsing the nomination. Submissions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Editor, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135.