ALEA Honors Staff at Tuscaloosa Driver License Office Who Saved Citizen Having Seizure
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency recognized the life-saving actions of four employees at their Driver License Office in Tuscaloosa Wednesday, celebrating their quick reactions after a citizen had a seizure there earlier this year.
ALEA hosted a ceremony Wednesday in Montgomery to award seven state employees whose heroic acts preserved the life of another, including four people in Tuscaloosa and two others in Walker County.
Colonel Jimmy Helms, the director of ALEA's Department of Public Safety, said in a press release that on May 20, 2021, a person at the Driver License Office here in the Druid City appeared to suffer a seizure and the staff there jumped into action immediately.
Helms said Driver Licence Examiner Danita Davis called 911 at once while Examiner David Milis moved to aid the citizen in distress and prevent them from falling out of a chair. Examiner Adrienne Taylor cleared a path through the office so paramedics could have a straight shot to the victim, and Driver License Specialist Christian Mixon located another person who had accompanied the victim and brought them inside the office to help their loved one.
Helms said the four Tuscaloosa workers were all presented with Certificates of Recognition for "their calm, caring compassionate and professional response to a medical emergency while representing the Agency's Driver License Division."
Three State Troopers, including two who were working in Walker County, were also granted Lifesaving Awards for actions they took this year that likely prevented the deaths of two citizens and one ALEA coworker.
Helms said in February 2020, Senior Trooper James Brown was patrolling in Walker County when he overheard Walker County 911 dispatch an ambulance to an unresponsive patient on Alabama 5 at the Jasper Christian Center.
Brown sped over to the building and discovered a man unresponsive at his desk. He then placed the victim on the floor and immediately began CPR until after the ambulance arrived. Paramedics used defibrillation multiple times before the man regained a heartbeat.
Robin Early, the Ambulance Operations Manager for Regional Paramedical Services in Jasper, sent a letter to ALEA crediting Brown's quick thinking and CPR treatment with saving the man's life.
Another State Trooper, Michael Aaron, was recognized for his compassion after an undated crash in Walker County. Helms said Aaron was called to the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Stella Lockhart Road, but when he arrived, the driver had left the scene.
Aaron reportedly called several area hospitals to ask if anyone had recently been admitted with injuries sustained in a car crash but came up empty.
Undeterred, he drove to the residence where the vehicle was registered and, with the help of a neighbor and a family member of the victim, Aaron was given permission to enter the house.
Trooper Aaron reportedly found the crash victim had attempted to commit suicide by crashing his vehicle into the bridge then drove home and tried to kill himself by another method. Aaron used his own medical kit to treat the victim's wounds until medical assistance arrived.
A third State Trooper, Eric Watson, was recognized for saving the life of another State Trooper who suffered a heart attack in January near Weiss Lake.
"While oftentimes it may seem that the heroic and selfless actions of law enforcement officers and first responders go unnoticed, it is imperative within our Agency to recognize and commend those who courageously go above and beyond the call of duty and respond to emergency situations with the utmost professionalism," ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said in the press release. “We are truly grateful to have both sworn and non-sworn individuals who are dedicated and genuinely care for the citizens of this great state.”
“Today, we are proud to share the recognition of these individuals within our Agency who continuously display the level of courage and commitment that epitomizes the Agency’s mission of providing quality service and protection to all," Helms said. "Each one demonstrated exceptional work grounded in the value of selfless service.”