By Debbie Adams
Officers Grant Shepherd and Brandon Charlton were recognized at the Vinton Town Council meeting on Dec. 6 for their heroic actions during a call for service last summer.
The officers were introduced by Vinton Police Chief Fabricio Drumond who described their actions on that day.
He recognized Officer Shepherd for his “professional achievement in the superior performance of your duties while assigned as a Patrol Officer with the Vinton Police Department.”
“On August 7, 2022, Officer Shepherd responded to a call for service regarding an unresponsive woman at a local business parking lot. Upon his arrival, he located a vehicle parked in the parking lot with several bystanders around the vehicle. An initial assessment of the scene uncovered that the vehicle was additionally occupied by two young kids that were unharmed.”
“In what was described as a chaotic scene, Officer Shepherd took immediate action and cleared the bystanders attempting to wake up the unconscious driver. Officer Shepherd checked the driver and determined that she was not breathing. He again checked her neck for a pulse but was unsuccessful. The driver who was slumped over, was immediately extracted from the vehicle to start chest compressions. Once extracted, the assisting officer, Lt. Hurt, conducted sternum rubs while Officer Shepherd re-assessed for a pulse. Both officer actions were unsuccessful in waking up the driver.”
“Officer Shepherd began chest compressions when the female abruptly gasped, opened her eyes, and began breathing on her own. In quick succession, the female became unresponsive again and Officer Shepherd continued chest compressions until emergency medical services arrived. At this point, it was determined that the female had a pulse again, but could not breathe on her own. Given the surrounding circumstances and the observations of officers on the scene, emergency services administered Narcan to the driver and transported her to the hospital.”
“We are blessed and humbled to have modern-day community caretakers like Officer Shepherd within our ranks and in our community. The action taken by Officer Shepherd is an example of a modern-day man with a servant’s heart, remarkable traits, and the propensity to do extraordinary things. On that day, Officer Shepherd gave a fellow citizen another opportunity at life.”
Chief Drumond next introduced Officer Charlton who was involved in the same incident as Officer Shepherd.
“Upon his arrival, officers located a vehicle still in gear and running, backed into a concrete wall in the parking lot. Several bystanders were around the vehicle, trying to wake the driver and place the vehicle in ‘park’. An initial assessment of the scene also uncovered that the vehicle was additionally occupied by two young kids. Officers on the scene were ultimately able to place the vehicle in park and remove the unconscious driver.”
“While officers provided life-saving aid to the driver, Officer Charlton attended to the two children in the vehicle—one being almost two years old and the other only three months old. Officer Charlton recognized that the three-month-old child was in distress and crying. He removed the child from its car seat and did everything he could to console him while officers rendered aid to the mother.”
“Once the driver was transported to the hospital, officers remained on the scene; more specifically Officer Charlton continued to hold the child for the entirety of the incident. While waiting for Child Protective Services for over an hour, Officer Charlton did not leave the children’s side. He would ultimately feed the baby, burp him, change his diaper, and was able to find clean clothes for him.”
“The actions illustrated by Officer Charlton are beyond exemplary. They are remarkable traits of a compassionate officer. Officer Charlton exhibited the highest standard of excellence and compassion and treated two children as if they were his own. It is people like Officer Charlton that make the world a better and safer place through their unwavering devotion to our community, our citizens, and, of course, our children.”
Vinton Mayor Brad Grose expressed his pride in the Vinton Police Department, their professional training, and their compassionate hearts. Vice Mayor Sabrina McCarty said that “Vinton is blessed with a great police department under great leadership.” Councilman Keith Liles thanked the officers, saying, “everyday you put your lives on the line for this town.”