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Puna Officer Awarded for Lifesaving Response to Fiery Crash

January 27, 2022, 10:00 AM HST
* Updated January 27, 9:46 AM
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Hawai‘i Police Department Officer Laurence Davis was honored as the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i Officer of the Month for his lifesaving efforts aiding an elderly driver at the scene of a car crash.

Davis received his recognition for the month of October 2021 during a ceremony at the Pāhoa Police Station on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

Davis, who has been on the force less than two years, responded to a single vehicle collision on Sept. 24 in Mountain View. On the way to the scene, he learned that the vehicle had flipped over, was was resting on its roof while on fire, with two elderly occupants trapped inside the car.

Upon arriving at the crash scene as the first responder, Davis observed that the vehicle was now resting on its side and the fire had been extinguished. While the vehicle’s passenger had been extricated with the help of bystanders, the driver was still trapped within the vehicle and unresponsive.

Davis determined that the driver was not only unconscious, he was not breathing, was gray in color, and had no pulse. He also realized that the only viable opening to pull the driver out of the vehicle was through the front windshield and even that would be extremely difficult without someone assisting from within due to the angle of the driver’s body.

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Using his baton to shatter the car’s sunroof, Davis pushed his body through the opening, and with the help of bystanders was able to maneuver the driver’s body through the front windshield.

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After removing the driver from the vehicle, Davis saw that the man wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. He immediately started CPR, continuing for eight minutes until the driver was breathing on his own and had a faint pulse at which point the officer placed the driver in the recovery position until Hawai‘i Fire Department personnel arrived. The driver was transported to Hilo Medical Center in critical but stable condition and was released a little over a week later.

Davis’ recognition of the severity of the medical emergency, his quick response, and effective CPR skills directly resulted directly in saving the driver’s life.

It’s the second time that Davis has been selected as Officer of the Month in 2021 by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i. He was honored as Officer of the Month in March for repeatedly diffusing tense situations with his calm demeanor.

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Every month the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i honors a police officer in East Hawaii as their officer of the month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the police districts in Area I, including Hāmākua, North Hilo, South Hilo, and Puna, and a winner is selected. All officers selected for Officer of the Month are eligible to be selected as the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i Officer of the Year.

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