Source: Gary Brock videoDeputy Justin Roberts talks about the night he saved man’s life hours after receiving the trained needed to give the man aid.
May 24 was no ordinary day for Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Roberts. It was a day he will remember for the rest of his life.
Deputy Roberts has been with the Madison County Sheriffs department just under five years and says the reason he wears the uniform is for lifesaving moments like the one he encountered May 24.
It was 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, and Deputy Roberts decided to attend the two-hour “Stop the Bleeding” class sponsored by the Madison County EMA.
The class was designed to provide the public with bleeding control devices and training on how to use them. Just 12 hours after Deputy Roberts attended that class he was dispatched to an accidental shooting where his just acquired knowledge proved invaluable to saving a life.
“I was working third shift that night starting at 11 p.m. and at 12:19 a.m. a call came in on an accidental gunshot wound. When I arrived on scene the patient was between two vehicles with his family around him,” Deputy Roberts said.
He said the oldest son was holding a towel on the victim’s leg to try and stop the bleeding. “After I secured the weapon, I looked at the wound to see what had happened and he had shot himself in the left leg four inches above the knee and actually hit his femur and the towels just weren’t doing enough to stop the bleeding,” Deputy Roberts said.
The deputy returned to his vehicle, grabbed a tourniquet and applied it to stop the bleeding. “I continued to apply pressure as we waited for the medics to arrive. I got the patient calm and talked him through what was going to happen and what was going on and made sure that he stayed awake and didn’t go into shock or anything,” Deputy Roberts said.
Roberts knew that the training that he had received earlier that day was exactly what he needed to do for this situation. Roberts applied a tourniquet to control the bleeding until a Mount Sterling squad arrived to the scene to provide further care to the accident victim.
For his fast action, Deputy Roberts later received a lifesaving award from the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association. This type of award has been achieved by fewer than six deputies in Madison County.
When the deputy was asked about what this award meant to him, he said, “It was important that I was able to go visit him the next week and talk to that guy at his house. He had returned home within a week of the accident. He and the family were very grateful. He didn’t remember much. He told me if I ever needed my truck worked on or my grass cut he would do it for me. The whole family was super appreciative. That (serving the public) is why I put on my uniform.”
Madison County Sheriff James P. Sabin listened at The Madison Press offices to his deputy tell his story. “It’s important for everyone to remember that public safety and preservation of lives is our number one task and it’s not only about issuing traffic tickets or arresting offenders it’s as well protecting the public and if that means saving a life or protecting someone, that’s what we are here to do.”
Gabriella Settele is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.