Police officers, firefighter honored for their life-saving efforts

From left: Fire Chief James Hinojosa; Public Safety Director Everette Robbins; Cpl. Duane Griffis; Officer Keith Nappo; Deputy Chief Mark Perkins; Cpt. Bradley Bauman. Photos courtesy of Huron Valley Ambulance.


Huron Valley Ambulance (HVA) was proud to present Officer Keith Nappo of the Huron Township Police Department with a life-saving award for his heroic actions on July, 19, 2016. Also honored were Corporal Duane Griffis of HTPD and Captian Bradley Bauman of HTFD for their heroic actions on April 22, 2016. The awards were presented at HVAs annual Emergency Medical Service Awards Dinner May 23.

On the evening of July 19, 2016, Officer Nappo and his partner were dispatched to Willow Road at the I-275 overpass in New Boston for a call involving a suicidal person. Upon his arrival, the man was found sitting on the overpass railing with his legs dangling above traffic on southbound I-275.

Related: Huron Township police officers commended for talking suicidal man down from freeway overpass

Officer Nappo recognized the man as a person he had interacted with in the past. On a previous incident, he had taken the time to speak with the man regarding some recent hardships going on in his life. The man advised Officer Nappo that he was contemplating jumping from the railing onto the freeway. Officer Nappo used his rapport with the man to convince him to step down from the railing to safety; he was also able to convince the man to seek a medical evaluation.

Police officers regularly find themselves in situations where they deal with people in their lowest moments. The time Officer Nappo spent listening to the man in the past more than likely save his life that day.

On April 22, 2016, the Huron Township Police Department Dispatch Operations Center received a 911 call from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department in regards to a potential murder/suicide possibly taking place at the Michigan Memorial Park Cemetery near Flat Rock. A woman had kidnapped her sister from a nursing home and planned to push her sister into the Huron River and then jump into the river after her.

Related: Police officers, firemen commended for preventing possible murder-suicide at Michigan Memorial Cemetery

Corporal Griffis was dispatched to the incident and was met by other officers from HTPD as well as officers from HTFD including Captain Bauman. Upon arrival to the scene, first responders found one woman in the river; she was submerged up to her neck and in immediate danger. Corporal Griffis immediately climbed down a large ledge and onto the wet rocks along the river’s edge; he was able to hold the woman’s hand keeping her safe until additional help arrived. The river’s edge was made of large jagged rocks, and the river levels were high with a very swift current. Corporal Griffis acted without regard to his own life as he bravely took the necessary actions to save the life of another.

When Captain Bauman arrived at the scene, he immediately initiated an action plan using two ladders from the fire engine to rescue the woman in the river. Captain Bauman entered the river to secure the woman in a manner that would keep her from sustaining further injury. Captain Bauman, Corporal Griffis and other members of HTFD worked as a team to lift the woman from the water, up the ledge on the river’s edge and ultimately to safety. Captain Bauman’s ability to assess the situation and quickly come up with a plan of action was instrumental in saving this woman’s life.

Source: Huron Valley Ambulance

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