Quick action by a Bradenton police officer last month saved the life of a motorist, and has earned him one of the department's top honors.
Here's the news release from the department:
Master Patrol Officer Danny Bench of the Bradenton Police Department will be presented with the Medal of Merit for his role in saving the life of a man who suffered a heart attack.
The Medal of Merit is the police department’s third-highest honor.
On Wednesday, Jan. 13, a 69-year-old man was driving westbound in the 2500 block of Manatee Avenue West around 9:30 p.m. when he suffered a heart attack, causing him to lose control of his vehicle, which crashed through a hedge surrounding a parking lot and into a concrete support pole.
Witnesses rushed to the scene and called 911. The Bradenton Police Department Dispatch Center immediately put the call over the police radio advising of a crash with an unresponsive driver.
Master Patrol Officer Bench had just finished an off-duty security detail and was on his way home when the call went out. He was a block away from the crash scene at the time and was the first emergency responder to arrive on scene. He approached the vehicle and observed that the driver was in fact unresponsive and confirmed that the driver had no pulse.
MPO Bench then pulled the driver from the vehicle and called for Emergency Medical Service assistance and initiated CPR. MPO Bench continued administering CPR until paramedics arrived and took over. Paramedics continued working on the driver as they transported him to Manatee Memorial Hospital. Once there, the medical staff was able to resuscitate him and stabilize his condition to the point where he was breathing on his own.
The actions of MPO Bench exemplify the highest tradition and professional standards of the Bradenton Police Department.
MPO Bench has served with the Bradenton Police Department since 1998. He is currently assigned to the School Resource Officer program.