Deputies save a life on Easter Sunday



STEPHENVILLE (April 24, 2017) – Two deputies are being recognized for saving a man’s life on Easter Sunday.

April 17 was just another day on the beat for Deputy David Southerland and Deputy Kent Howell, who responded to a dispatched call referencing a medical emergency, according to Erath County Sheriff Matt Coates.

“Dispatch advised a vehicle would be on the side of the road near the intersection of FM 914 and FM 847 with a 55-year-old male who was not breathing,” Coates said. “Deputy Howell and Deputy Southerland arrived on scene and performed CPR on the unresponsive male until Erath EMS arrived to take over.”

At last update, officials said the unnamed patient, who was transported via ambulance to Texas Health Stephenville and transferred to a Fort Worth hospital by air ambulance, remained in intensive care.

“I cannot express enough my gratitude for their efforts,” Coates said. “These two should be commended for outstanding performance.”

While grateful for the commendation the deputies received on Monday, Howell – a ten-year county employee and volunteer firefighter – said the effort of protecting and saving lives requires a unified team.

“I appreciate the recognition but we as department do what we can to protect and serve the citizens of Erath County,” Howell said. “On that day, Deputy Southerland and I did what any other deputy would have done. It’s a group effort that includes Erath County EMS, fire rescue and the sheriff’s department. We’re here to do whatever we can to serve the community.”

Chief Deputy Heath Crossland echoed the sheriff’s sentiments, but also said while such performance may be routine, it’s too often unrecognized.

“The fact is we, at the sheriff’s office, are proud, the citizens of Erath County are proud, and I am sure the victim’s family is also proud of these deputies,” Crossland said.

“Deputy Howell and Deputy Southerland responded to the situation and provided emergency care, until EMS arrive, potentially saving the citizen’s life,” Coates said while presenting the commendations. “They showed compassion and concern for a citizen of Erath County in such a professional manner that it makes the community they serve and the Erath County Sheriff’s Office proud.”

“It just feel good, to be a part of a situation like this and being able to hear that the individual survived,” Southerland said. “It make the job even more rewarding.”


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