LEWISTON - Idaho State Police Colonel Ralph Powell will present the Idaho State Police Life Saving Award to Trooper Christopher Middleton during a ceremony at ISP's District 2 office in Lewiston on Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
The award will be presented for Trooper Middleton's actions in saving the life of a woman in Latah County on May 27, 2014. The incident began when Trooper Middleton was conducting traffic enforcement on US 95 in Latah County and heard a radio call from the Latah County Sheriff's Office. The dispatcher reported that a woman had stated she had ingested and overdosed on methamphetamine and was driving herself to Gritman Medical Center in Moscow and was currently near the Genesee Junction on US 95. Trooper Middleton attempted to locate the vehicle and it was not until he turned his patrol car around and started driving southbound that he located the driver as she passed him, heading northbound. She stopped on the side of the road to wait for him.
Trooper Middleton started talking to the driver but she soon fell over and stopped breathing. Latah County Sheriff's Deputies Ron Vietmeier, Steve Hansen and Greg Pannell arrived to assist. The deputies performed chest compressions while Trooper Middleton retrieved his breathing mask and automatic external defibrillator (AED) from his vehicle and administered an electronic shock to the woman. Trooper Middleton then started chest compressions for about a minute and a half. The woman started taking intermittent, labored breaths and her hands started moving and twisting although the coloring of her skin was gray. Trooper Middleton encourages the woman to keep breathing and fight to live until the Moscow Volunteer Emergency Ambulance arrived a short time later. The woman was transported to Gritman Medical Center.
Information from health care workers indicated that the woman's heart rate was in a state of dysrhythmia and without using the AED to shock her heart, CPR may not have been enough to keep her alive. Trooper Middleton's decision to use the AED and his immediate action, along with the actions of the Latah County Sheriff's Deputies and other first responders, showed bravery and courage and resulted in saving the life of this woman.
The Idaho State Police Life Saving Award is awarded to an ISP employee who saves the life of another person, whether on-duty or off-duty and it represents the highest ideals of an Idaho State Police trooper.