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Kohala Officer Awarded For Life-Saving Action After Accident

March 19, 2022, 2:00 PM HST
* Updated March 19, 10:18 AM
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Pictured from left to right: Sergeant Thomas Chun-Ming, Leena Beckwith (wife), Officer Brian Beckwith, Kelly Ah Hee (HISSPA), and Kainoa Stafford (HISSPA). Second lead picture is of Beckwith holding a department-issued tourniquet. PC: HPD

When a motorcyclist sustained life-threatening injuries in a South Kohala traffic collision last autumn, South Kohala Officer Brian Beckwith provided preliminary medical treatment using a tourniquet to save the man’s life.

For his quick actions and life-saving skills, Beckwith was honored as the Hawai‘i Island Security and Safety Professionals Association (HISSPA) Officer of the Quarter for Q4 2021 during a ceremony on Friday, March 11 in South Kohala.

On Nov. 14, 2021, Beckwith responded to a report of a motor vehicle collision in the area of the 3.5 mile marker on Kohala Mountain Road. The first to arrive on scene, he determined that the victim was driving his 2016 Yamaha motorcycle north on Kohala Mountain Road towards Hawi when he lost control and struck a guardrail.

Beckwith, who has 12 years of experience as a combat medic with the U.S. military, quickly assessed the victim had sustained serious bodily injuries requiring immediate intervention to save the motorcyclist’s life.

Beckwith applied his department-issued tourniquet to the victim’s left leg and staunched the bleeding. The motorcyclist was subsequently transported to the Queen’s North Hawai‘i Community Hospital by ambulance for treatment. Hospital staff praised Beckwith’s quick thinking, and his excellent application of the tourniquet, stating that he saved the victim’s life by controlling the bleeding, as the victim would have suffered major blood loss that could have resulted in his death.

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As a combat medic, Beckwith recognized the value of tourniquets and advocated for their use before they became standard department issue. A nine-year veteran of the department, this incident demonstrates the officer’s passion for the safety of the community he serves.

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