With lives hanging in the balance, three Midlothian Police Officers stepped forward. Corporal Matt Shipp and officers Jacob Rittimann and Ray Hall were honored at Tuesday’s city council meeting for their heroism.
Police Chief Carl Smith praised the officers for their actions as he introduced them to the council and audience gathered at city hall.
Smith first spoke of Shipp’s actions at an accident scene in the 1200 block of Highway 67.
“Corporal Shipp was awarded the meritorious conduct award. That is awarded for a heroic deed and exceptional meritorious conduct involving exemplary courage, risk, and danger to personal safety,” Smith said. “On this particular night, he was able to assist two other officers in retrieving a person that crashed his car. They were able to remove him from the vehicle.”
Smith explained that the officers performed CPR until paramedics arrived on scene. The actions were able to extend the person’s life for a few more days and provide life to others through organ donation.
“This is an exceptional act that not only allowed the family to say goodbye but also he gave life to another member of that family,” Smith stated. “It is a special opportunity for us to recognize Matt and his courageous deed.”
Smith then awarded Officers Rittimann and Hall with the department’s lifesaving award. This award is in recognition of saving a human life after being verified by signed statements from witnesses to the incident, medical personnel, peers, and supervisors.
Smith told the audience that Rittmann’s actions were connected to an incident involving a man who planned to take his own life.
During the call, officers found a man dangling his feet off the southbound side of the Farm-to-Market Road 663 bridge that spans over U.S. Highway 287.
“Officer Rittimann was able to take advantage of the young man being distracted by officer Rodriquez who was talking to him,” Smith said. “While he was talking to officer Rodriguez, Rittimann was able to come up behind him, secure him, and pull him away from the railing of the bridge. We are very proud of Jacob and what he did.”
Smith added that once the man was secured, he was transported to for medical assistance.
As Hall stepped forward, Smith shared that Hall has a tremendous dedication to the job and the people that he serves each day. Hall was visiting an elementary school when he noticed a second-grade student starting to choke. He quickly acted to help her restore breathing.
“Megan (Houchen) was choking on a baloney sandwich and officer Hall recognized that," Smith stated. "He performed the Heimlich maneuver and was able to clear her throat in a manner that we consider lifesaving for her.”
In other business the council,
• Heard a presentation of the city’s financial audit for the 2016-207 fiscal year.
• Received the annual racial profiling report.
• Approved a resolution authorizing Jazz Under the Stars outdoor concert hosted by the Midlothian ISD Jazz Band set to take place on May 4.
• Approved a resolution authorizing the Midlothian Kids Fishing Derby to be hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department on April 28.
• Reviewed the city’s current special design and construction standards for the Eagle Ford Soils Group.
• Approved a resolution amending the master fee schedule to define utility services reconnect fees and penalties.
• Approved to renew an ordinance providing for a curfew for minors under 17 years old.
• Approved an agreement with Brinkley Sargent Wiginton for architectural design and engineering services for the new Midlothian Fire Department Station 1.
• Approved to award a contract to Vector Disease Control International for vector control services, trapping, testing, larviciding, and spraying of mosquitoes for $50,048.
• Approved a development agreement between Bloomfield Homes and the city for participation in the construction of infrastructure and site improvements for more than 65 acres in the Wind Ridge development.
• Approved a resolution amending the master fee schedule to clearly define utility services reconnect fees and penalties.