Just another night on patrol for two officers in Wetzel County turned into one of the most important nights of their careers.
In New Martinsville, Patrolmen Jason Utt and Michael Owens were working in known drug area when they noticed a car with lots of people around it.
When the car drove off, their guts said follow.
It took them to the Wetzel County hospital, where the driver jumped out frantic, leaving them to find a young man totally unresponsive in the back seat.
“The victim was actually blue at that time he hadn’t been breathing, unresponsive to any commands, we couldn’t get anything out of him,” Utt said.
Immediately, Patrolman Owens’s background as an EMT kicked in while Patrolman Utt hauled the boy out of the car.
Hospital staff rushed out and the officers worked right alongside them performing CPR and even prepping IVS.
“We’re doing that and all the while, we’re not getting any breaths, we’re not getting anything out of the guy he’s just getting more blue and more blue. It was difficult but finally after a couple of minutes we were able to get a couple breaths out of him,” Utt said.
Their quick response proved to be the difference between life and death.
“Without Jason and the doctor pulling him out of the car it’s hard to tell what could have happened,” said Owens.
The man lived, and was moved to tears when he met the officers face to face.
“In our profession we don’t get thanks very often. Just for that one person to show a little bit that what we did meant something to them really meant something to us and it makes us strive to be the best we can be,” Owens said.
They say last week was rough with a lot of challenges and bad calls. But when they opened the card from the man they saved, they say it makes protecting the streets of New Martinsville all worth it.
“You know, we’re not here to arrest everybody day in or day out it’s making a difference in someone’s life and possibly saving a life and what he did to show his appreciation towards us means the world to us,” Utt said.
Both officers were honored by Chief Cecil with lifesaving awards from the department and a commendation bar to add to their uniforms.