Signal 88 Security is proud to announce that Officer Matthew Hassler of #178 Sarasota, FL, is the Signal 88 Hero of the Month for March 2020.
As Officer Hassler was making his way to work one day, he approached an accident on the highway that was beginning to halt fast-moving traffic.
“Vehicles were flying, going 90 miles past me and I could see one car off road that had impacted a tree line. I couldn’t hear any type of sirens that were near, so I knew help wasn’t yet coming. So I grabbed my pocketknife and ran across 4 lanes to help,” says Hassler.
As Officer Hassler investigated the scene more closely, he saw that the vehicle had rolled multiple times and was billowing smoke from its engine bay. Without hesitation, Hassler inspected the crushed vehicle for any occupants, finding the driver unconscious.
Officer Hassler asked bystanders to call 911. No one did.
“In these situations, it’s easy for people to freeze up. From my previous experience, I just know that you have to practice these types of situations in your head, in order to be able to assess,” said Hassler.
Officer Hassler called 911 himself as he processed how to help the unconscious man.
The driver was locked inside the vehicle, still fastened inside his seatbelt. Hassler banged on the windows to try to rouse him.
“I saw that the man’s head was bleeding profusely and I knew I needed to get him out of the car,” says Hassler.
Hassler pulled his window punch tool from his duty belt and carefully smashed in the window to unlock the door. But because of the damage that the vehicle had endured, the door was too jammed to even open.
Smoke was increasing from the rolled vehicle and was giving off a burning smell. Officer Hassler reassessed and realized he had to do everything to get the driver out before the situation got even worse.
“I looked for any other signs of obvious injuries, other than the bleeding. I didn’t find any, but I noticed that the life signs were getting weaker,” says Hassler.
He grabbed the pocketknife, cut the man’s seatbelt, and carefully elevated the driver out of the car, still unconscious. At this time Officer Hassler used his first aid training to control the victim’s bleeding.
“With my previous experience in emergency medical training and as a correctional officer, I felt confident in assessing the situation and handling these injuries,” says Hassler.
He continued to perform first aid until emergency services arrived. As paramedics assumed control of the scene, Officer Hassler was informed that he had saved the driver’s life with his quick actions and thinking.
“I was just glad to be part of it. I believe everyone should be able to help a situation like this if it were to occur again. If you see something and don’t see any signs of help, then be the help,” says Hassler.
Signal 88 Security would like to thank Officer Hassler for his drive to serve his community with passion and without hesitation. Officer Hassler is a great asset to our team, continuing to live within our core values!