Officers recognized for life-saving efforts on Whidbey Island

Two Oak Harbor residents are alive today because of the efforts of three police officers.

That was the message during a special presentation at the Oak Harbor City Council meeting Tuesday in which Officers Jon Valenzuela, Mike Clements and Mel Lolmaugh were recognized for their life-saving efforts.

Oak Harbor Police Chief Ed Green described how Valenzuela saved a middle-aged man who hanged himself June 22.

Valenzuela and deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a gunshot at a residence of a possible suicidal man. Green said the man had made threats to officers in the past.

Valenzuela and the officers responded to the house and set up a perimeter.

Valenzuala entered the garage and found the man hanging from the ceiling from a rope with a noose tightly around his neck.

Valenzuela ran to the man, holding him up as he cut the rope.

The man survived.

Green said in an interview that the gunshot may have been the sound of the man kicking over whatever he was standing on.

“Officer Valenzuela showed dedication, professionalism and providing the highest level of service to the citizens of Oak Harbor,” the chief said.

Fire Chief Ray Merrill read a letter that explained how officers Clements and Lolmaugh helped to save a 35-year-old woman March 28.

They were the first on the scene in response to a report that the woman was unresponsive at a home on Ronhaar Street.

They attached the automatic defibrillator to the woman — who had no pulse — but the machine recognized that a shock was not appropriate.

The two men immediately started CPR and continued until paramedics arrived.

The woman also survived.

Merrill said the incident was illustrative of how well the police and fire departments work together.


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