Officer recognized with 'Life Saving Award'
WAXAHACHIE – Waxahachie Police Officer David Bittle was thanked with a standing ovation after being presented with the “Life Saving Award” by Coppell Police Chief Mac Tristan on Monday, Aug. 15.
“One of our officers did an outstanding job of public service,” said Waxahachie Police Chief Charles “Chuck” Edge before giving the podium over to Chief Tristan.
“When we have that chance to save a life – to give an award- is not an actual act of justice,” said Tristan.
“What could have been a tragedy, turned out to be a life changing event and lifetime bonds were formed.”
On Tuesday, June 7 the Coppell Police Department hosted a motorcycle training school during the week for area departments with Instructor and Sergeant Toby Bowen. Five officers were participating, one of those being Brittle. When Coppell Police Motor Officer John McArdle arrived at the training site to assist in setting up a driving course, he collapsed and fell off his motorcycle shortly after arrival.
“Officer Bittle immediately went to Officer McArdle’s assistance and joined other officers in assessing his condition. It was quickly determined that Officer McArdle was not breathing and had no pulse,” read Tristan from a letter to the council.
According to Tristan’s testimony, Bittle, who had previous medical training, helped open McArdle’s airway and removed his body armor and uniform to began placing cold rags on and around McArdle’s body while awaiting the paramedics to arrive and transport the officer to Baylor Medical Center in Grapevine. Other officers were administering CPR at this time.
“It was an extremely hot day, with temperatures soaring to 99 degrees,” said Tristan.
Doctor’s were able to stabilize McArdle and he was released to his family two days later on Thursday, June 9.
Dr. Richard Fiengold, the attending cardiologist, wrote a letter stating “because of the fast response by police officers at the training, Officer McArdle is alive.”
“Let it be known, that Officer David Bittle is a credit to the Law Enforcement Profession and the Waxahachie Police Department. Based on Officer Bittle’s quick action and facts presented, the Coppell Police Department is honored to present Waxahachie Police Officer David Bittle with the Coppell Police Department Live Saving Award,” read Tristan from the proclamation.
Tristan has plans to present two awards at the next Duncanville City Council meeting for Officers Eddie Edwards and Manuel Luna as well. Five total awards will be given out, including two to Coppell Officer Josh Jackson and Sergeant Kirk Smith.
“It’s not every day you have a lifesaving story, it’s quite an accomplishment for all these men and their outstanding team work shouldn’t go unrecognized,” said Tristan.