3 Medina officers honored for stopping the bleed after serious dog bite

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 February 2021 at 7:23 pm

Officers Navas, Reeves and Meredith presented UR Trauma Star Commendation

Photos by Tom Rivers: Medina Police Chief Chad Kenward recognizes police officer Christian Navas for applying a tourniquet after a woman suffered a serious dog bite on Dec. 7. Kenward also recognized officers Jacob Reeves, left, and Dustin Meredith, center.

MEDINA – Three Medina police officers were dispatched to a home on South Main Street in Dec. 7. They didn’t know how serious the situation was because the call was disconnected to the 911 center at 4:44 p.m.

Officer Christian Navas was first on the scene and was soon followed by officers Jacob Reeves and Dustin Meredith. The latter was doing his field training as a new officer.

Navas entered the house and saw a woman with a very serious dog bite. Her right foot had nearly been bitten off by a dog, a mixed breed.

The resident thought the dog was safely outside, but it barged into the house. The victim of the dog bite was a visiting nurse.

Navas acted quickly, taking Reeves’ personal tourniquet and wrapping it tightly around the injured woman’s thigh. That prevented her from bleeding out and possibly dying.

Reeves and Meredith were able to keep people calm at the scene and provide support.

Navas said officers frequently train on first aid. Even in tactical training, officers will suddenly be told they need to provide aid to another officer, including applying tourniquets. Navas said the injured woman didn’t panic despite the immense pain and scariness of the situation.

“She was such a fighter,” Navas said. “I’ve never seen such a gruesome injury.”

Medina police officer Christian Navas is pictured by a Stop the Bleed display through the University of Rochester and Strong Memorial Hospital. He was credited for quickly putting a tourniquet on a woman’s leg after she suffered a serious dog bite. His actions are credited with saving the woman’s foot and possibly her life.

Medina firefighters – Tyler Harrington and Lt. Steve Cooley – responded soon after the police officers and then found a tourniquet was already properly in place. That allowed them to set a splint to stabilize the open fractures. They then transported the woman to Strong Memorial Hospital. She was there 54 minutes after the initial dispatch call, within the “golden hour” when care is so critical to survival and recovery.

The woman survived and doctors were able to reattach her foot without an amputation. She wanted to express her “heartfelt appreciation” to the police officers and firefighters for their fast and very proficient response, said Todd Draper, lieutenant of the Medina PD.

The three police officers today were presented Trauma Star Commendation awards today from the University of Rochester. The officers were praised for “stopping the bleed” in those early minutes after the 911 call.  The awards from the University of Rochester Medical Center were presented by William Hallinan, Trauma Program Manager, and Nick VanStaalduinen, Trauma Injury Prevention/Outreach Coordinator.

Draper said the response from the police officers shows the interagency cooperation between the police and fire department.

“There are no routine days for law enforcement or emergency responders,” Draper said during a presentation in the main meeting room at City Hall. “This is something our guys are out doing everyday along with our partners at the Medina Fire Department.”

Jacob Reeves, the police department’s field training officer, was doing the field training for Dustin Meredith, a new officer on the police department. Meredith joined the Medina PD after working as the animal control officer in Orleans County. He has seen many dog bites, but never one as serious as the incident in Medina on Dec. 7.

The dog in the attack has been euthanized.

This group of Medina police officers and firefighters responded to a call on Dec. 7 when a nurse visiting a Medina home suffered a very serious dog bite where her right foot was nearly bitten off. Their quick actions saved the woman’s foot and likely prevented her from bleeding out and dying. Pictured from left include Dustin Meredith and Christian Navas of the police department, Tyler Harrington and Lt. Steve Cooley of the fire department, and police officer Jacob Reeves.