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Officer saves life with CPR - Odessa American: Law Enforcement

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Officer saves life with CPR

Corporal named OPD’s Officer of the Month

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Posted: Friday, July 15, 2016 5:36 pm

Odessa Police Department Cpl. Damon “Rusty” Martin had performed CPR before during his 10 years in law enforcement but July 2 was the first time he succeeded in bringing someone back from the brink of death.

Martin, who has been named as the OPD’s Officer of the Month, recalled Friday being dispatched to a home in the 300 block of Orchard Drive where the door was open and two boys led him to a back bedroom where an unresponsive man was laying on his back.

Martin checked for a pulse, didn’t find one, and began CPR as instructed by the dispatcher who initially was guiding another man in the Orchard Drive home to perform the life-saving procedure. Moments later Martin checked again for a pulse and this time, the officer said, he found one albeit very weak.

Paramedics rushed into the home and took over from there, Martin said. Even though Martin credits dispatcher Rebecca Ellison for her invaluable service in telling him how to do CPR, his colleagues at the OPD nevertheless credit Martin for the deed, which garnered him the monthly honor.

“It felt great,” Martin said of the experience. “I’ve done CPR before and I was never successful. It felt amazing. It’s not every day you get an opportunity like that.”

Martin, 35, who was born in Dallas but moved to Odessa during his adolescence, worked for the Friona Police Department for two years and has spent the past eight years with the OPD. The department could’ve named more than one officer for the recognition, but Martin said he remained grateful to be named.

“It’s really special to be recognized,” Martin said.

OPD spokesman Cpl. Steve LeSueur said Martin’s heroism on July 2 and his efforts in collecting clues that were instrumental in connecting a pair of suspects to a murder that had occurred but was not reported were what urged OPD Lt. Matt Davidson to recommend Martin for the recognition.

The murder involved two suspects accused of fatally shooting a transient with a shotgun in late June and then setting the body ablaze and putting the remains inside a barrel, police said.

Calling Martin an “excellent officer,” Davidson said he wanted the corporal to be acknowledged for his hard work.

“That’s offering true service to your community,” Davidson said. “We all benefit from being around Cpl. Martin.”

LeSueur was no less glowing in his assessment of Martin’s policing efforts.

“It’s awesome,” LeSueur said of Martin’s honor. “He’s one of the officers who trained me. He’s one of the best officers I know.”

The news out of Dallas, and the ensuing turmoil elsewhere, has been on the minds of the officers at the OPD, but the community’s outpouring of support has made a difference, LeSueur said. Martin explained that the public’s contact with law enforcement hasn’t always been positive but it’s helpful for people to know that they share the common need to have a peaceful community, he said.

“So we want to let people in the community I think it’s important (for them to realize that) we all have the same goals and that’s to make a difference,” Martin said.

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