BY LAURA AUSTIN
News Review Staff Writer
At the May 18 Ridgecrest City Council meeting, Ridgecrest Police Department (RPD) Police Officer Mike Ogas was awarded two Life Saving Awards for saving the lives of two Ridgecrest residents.
RPD Captain (Capt.)Justin Dampier awarded Officer Ogas the two awards for his life saving actions on February 11, 2022. Officer Michael Ogas was dispatched to a Ridgecrest residence on N. Norma Street for a report of an overdose. RPD’s Dispatch advised that the subject was unconscious and unresponsive and that Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was in progress. Officer Ogas was the first officer to arrive on the scene. Ogas administered Narcan (a potentially lifesaving medication designed to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose) to the victim and began to administer rescue breaths to the victim. After several minutes of rendering medical aid, the victim’s condition started to improve. Liberty Ambulance and Kern County Fire Department personnel arrived and transported the victim to the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH) where he later made a full recovery. According to RPD Capt. Justin Dampier Officer Ogas’ quick and decisive actions directly saved the victim’s life. “Officer Ogas should be commended for his efforts during this intense and stressful situation. His quick thinking and actions along with his dedication to helping not only saved the victim’s life, but positively represented the Ridgecrest Police Department to this community.”
The second award was from an incident that happened on February 13, 2022.
Dampier introduced the situation as follows. “While most of us were watching the Superbowl, Officer Mike Ogas had a 18 month old kid in his arms doing CPR.”
The young child was found in a small body of water in the back yard of the family residence. “Officers Mike Ogas and Cori Rinaldi were first on scene and immediately realized that the youngstrer was in ‘dire straits.’” Dampier said.
Officer Ogas scooped the youngster into his arms administering CPR as he and Officer Rinaldi rushed to Rinaldi’s police vehicle. Rinaldi transported Ogas and the child to RRH meeting Liberty Ambulance half way. Officer Ogas continued CPR as he transferred with the child to the ambulance in route to the hospital.
Once at RRH, the child was stabilized and later transferred to another facility with a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
“I’m so proud of this guy. He’s a super hero… he’s my super hero.” Dampier stated.
“Without question, Officer Ogas’ quick action and lifesaving efforts were instrumental in preservation of this kids life. Officer Ogas is to be commended for his quick actions.”
“We (RPD) had an opportunity to talk to the kid and see him … see his eyes and it just comes down to this guy (Ogas) directly and the others around him. They were able to save this kid’s life.” Dampier continued.
“The other was an overdose and life is real important but, when we deal with kids… we all have kids… it’s really rough. So proud of all of them. Everyone needs to be proud of these guys.” Dampier said.
When offered to comment, Officer Ogas thanked Captain Dampier and the City Council. He praised his fellow brother officers and the first responders with Liberty Ambulance for assisting him with his efforts. “Each one of these awards means a lot. I love my job. I really enjoy working with these guys, especially Jon Kutscher (Liberty Ambulance),” Ogas said.