Spearfish officers honored with Life Saver awards

Life Saver Awards

Photo caption: Spearfish Police Officers Austin Drapeaux and Jacob Westover received two Life Saver awards Monday during the Spearfish City Council meeting. Pictured from left are Assistant Chief Boyd Dean, Officer Westover, Officer Drapeaux, and Chief Curt Jacobs. Photo courtesy City of Spearfish

SPEARFISH, SD – Two Spearfish Police Department officers were honored Monday with not one, but two Life Saver awards.

Officers Austin Drapeaux and Jacob Westover were both working and dispatched to events in April and November of 2020 that resulted in the life of a citizen being saved. Spearfish Police Chief Curt Jacobs gave a quick synopsis of the two events that involved both officers:

In the early morning hours of April 19, 2020, Jan Harper called 9-1-1, advising she was having difficulty breathing. Officer Drapeaux and Westover responded to her residence, arriving on scene within minutes. When Officer Westover knocked on the door and entered, he made eye contact with Harper before she immediately slumped over on the sofa. The officers got her on the floor, did a medical assessment, and realized she needed CPR immediately, which they started. By the time the ambulance service arrived, they had Harper’s heart beating again. Once she was loaded on the ambulance, to ensure the emergency medical technicians could continue life-saving measures, Officer Drapeaux drove the ambulance to the hospital.

“They used the training they get on a regular basis and are extremely good at what they do,” Chief Jacobs said.

Then on the afternoon of Nov. 12, 2020, the same two officers responded to the report of a man who had collapsed in the weight room of the Donald E. Young Center. Upon arrival, they witnessed people – including Officer Drapeaux’s sister – working on the man, Rich Mulholland, who had been hooked up to an AED. The officers realized the AED was malfunctioning and immediately replaced it with a new AED from their patrol vehicles. The AED advised to shock, which they did, followed by CPR, and again, when the ambulance service arrived, Mulholland’s heart was going again.

“Thank you, gentlemen,” Mayor Dana Boke said, congratulating the officers on the awards and thanking them for their life-saving actions.

Officers Drapeaux and Westover were each presented with their awards and a red bar for their uniform, which shows they’ve had a lifesaving event, and in the middle of the bar is a gold leaf, indicating they have more than one.

“Congratulations,” Chief Jacobs said, presenting the awards to the officers, which was met with applause from the Mayor, City Council, and all present at the meeting.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News