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RPD Life Saving Award recipients. Top: Left to Right: Officers Robert Henderson, Officer Gabriel Coe, Detective Brianna Stengel, Sergeant Nathan Lloyd, Officer Ryan Smith, Officer Andrew Solorzan, Officer James Quiroz, Officer Jeremiah Lloyd and Officer Michael Pettit. Sergeant Laura Kenney and Sergeant Michael Ogas could not attend the awards presentation as they were on duty and out in our community, saving lives. / Laura Austin Photo

City Council awards 11 RPD officers for saving lives

By Helen Tomlin News Review Staff Writer–  A large number of people attended the September 6 City Council meeting in order to witness several Ridgecrest police officers receive Life Saving Awards.  To begin the presentations, Sergeant Nathan Lloyd acknowledged Officers Henderson and Solo for going above and beyond the call of duty on a stalking incident that happened on May 7, which ended up saving a distraught young man’s life. Using their verbal training, they were able to get the man to cooperate and surrender peacefully.

Sgt. Michael Ogas / Laura Austin Photo

Captain Tucker presented awards to Sergeant Nathan Lloyd, Detective Brianna Stengel, and Officer Michael Orgas.  On June 5th, these three professionals worked quickly to save the life of a 13-year-old girl who they believed had overdosed.  Stengel performed CPR while Orgas and Lloyd administered rescue breaths.  Their coordinated efforts were instrumental in reviving the victim and stabilizing her condition until additional medical assistance arrived.  Officer James Quiroz was awarded for his swift action that occurred on May 9.  He extracted an unconscious man from his vehicle and administered medication that eventually revived him.

Officers Gabriel Coe and Ryan Smith responded to a call on July 5.  After assessing the situation of a female who had overdosed and was unconscious, they immediately began to administer CPR. 

Sergeant Laura Kenney / Laura Austin Photo

Later, Sergeant Laura Kenney gave her medication that stabilized her until Liberty Ambulance workers arrived.  Because the female was reluctant to go to the hospital, Kenney convinced her to go with them to seek medical treatment.  All three were given awards.

Officers Michael Pettit and Ryan Smith were awarded for their help in saving the life of a man who overdosed on August 11.  The man fully recovered.  Lastly, Officers Robert Henderson, Jeremiah Lloyd, and Sergeant Eric Hallmark were also given awards because they saved the life of a man who had apparently overdosed in his garage on August 12.  These men were able to get his pulse back by applying medication.

Next on the meeting’s agenda was an update on the progress of Frontier.  Doug McAllister, Vice President of external affairs, explained what was going on with the fiber optic telecommunications build so far in Ridgecrest.  McAllister apologized and said, “We had some hiccups with our contractors.” One went bankrupt and “left everything there.”  But they are getting caught up.  Their goal is to build 100% fiber directly into each home.  It is not a copper fiber hybrid but “full-on fiber,” which is a “very robust Internet pipeline that eliminates the choke places.”  Since the average home has about 22 devices using the Internet, it is important to have fiber that can support “five gigs of speed up and down symmetrical.  So it’s massive.”    

He said that since Frontier’s infrastructure will be there after they are finished, it will not take much to go back and upgrade without additional construction.  “It’s a very one-and-done future-proof technology.”   Currently, in Ridgecrest, almost 11,000 addresses are in the works to receive this technology.  Their goal is to completely finish the installation by the end of 2024.  By then, “your entire city will have the option to use our fiber if they so choose.”

McAllister explained that it is relatively inexpensive because “we have divorced ourselves from network TV.” Since many people are streaming movies now, people have a choice of how they will use their Internet power. “What we are providing is a massive pipeline of Internet connectivity” that can be customized for each home’s needs. He said with so many people now working from home, it is important to have multiple options