The Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) along with Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw presented three Lifesaving Awards and a Medal of Merit at the PSC meeting on Thursday, Feb. 16, at DPS Headquarters in Austin.
“It’s important to take the time to recognize the critical, and often lifesaving, actions of these individuals,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “These are the people that make the department so tremendous, and we are proud to be able to honor their hard work, commitment and dedication to service that make Texas a safer place for all of us to call home.”
The following individuals were recognized:
Sergeant Scott Hewitt, Texas Highway Patrol – Headquarters, was awarded a Medal of Merit. Since 2015, Sergeant Hewitt has been a member of the State Crash Reconstruction Team. He is also responsible for reviewing each DPS fleet crash and is a core instructor of the Transportation Code. As a Texas Highway Patrol (THP) Trooper, he identified the need for uniformed enforcement of the Texas Transportation Code and proper application of contributing factors by law enforcement in crash investigations throughout the state.
The volume and scope of these topics can make it difficult for officers to understand and accurately apply them to real world scenarios. Undertaking the monumental task to create and develop a user-friendly resource to assist with uniform interpretation and application of the Transportation Code, Sgt. Hewitt created a 278-page document titled “Field Enforcement Guidance,” which contains a listing of commonly utilized Transportation Code arrest titles. He went on to create an additional 130-page document titled “Contributing Factors in Crash Investigation Guidance” to assist officers with the uniform application and use of contributing factors in crash reporting and directly correlated each of these back to the Transportation Code guide. This guide addresses every possible contributing factor which could be present in a crash, along with examples, diagrams, and explanations of their use or their non-applicability under certain conditions.
Sergeant Hewitt is also responsible for authoring a corresponding eight-hour Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) accredited course of instruction, which has been presented to thousands of Texas law enforcement officers through THP In-Service, First Line Supervisor Training, Crash Special Topics courses and to numerous other Texas police agencies.
We thank him for this tireless, forward-thinking and dedicated efforts that are directly in line with the finest traditions of this department.
Sergeant Roy Lytle, Training Operations Division – Headquarters, Trooper Joshua DeLaGarza, Texas Highway Patrol – Capitol Bike Patrol, and Trooper Antonio Rico, Texas Highway Patrol – Capitol Bike Patrol, each received a Lifesaving Award for their actions on Dec. 14, 2022.
While attending a DPS fitness unit workout in a state parking garage, a state employee suffered a medical emergency. Sergeant Lytle assessed the subject, determined he was having a seizure and rolled him onto his side. Another class participant called for help and Troopers DeLaGarza and Rico responded. As they arrived, the subject stopped breathing and no longer had a pulse. Sergeant Lytle rolled the subject onto his back and secured AED pads in order to analyze the subject’s heart function. He then used the AED to administer a shock, Trooper Rico began CPR compressions, while Trooper DeLaGarza coordinated with EMS and prepared his DPS unit to transport the patient if necessary. Trooper Rico continued chest compressions until the subject began breathing on his own and they detected a faint pulse. Trooper DeLaGarza directed Austin/Travis County EMS to the location, and upon arrival, EMS personnel took charge of medical treatment and transported the patient to the hospital where he was monitored and analyzed. Due to their decisive and professional response to a life-threatening situation the patient survived.
Please join us in congratulating all of the award recipients.