SMALLERLatimerDaniSpanoSeptember 13, 2018 – At a ceremony held in his office in downtown White Plains, Westchester County Executive George Latimer recognized a Westchester correction officer for using his training to save an injured motorcyclist’s life. 

On April 18, 2018, Westchester County Officer Christopher Dani learned to apply a tourniquet as part of the Westchester County Department of Correction’s annual in-service training program, Stop the Bleed, a national awareness campaign.  Just five days later, Dani, an 11-year member of County service and a New Rochelle resident, was off-duty and came upon an accident on the Hutchinson River Parkway, finding a motorcyclist who had suffered an injury to his arm, which was severed from his body just below the shoulder.

At this point, Dani’s recent training kicked in.  He fashioned a tourniquet from his belt and secured it to Mr. Virtue’s arm, instructing him to remain calm and to focus on his breathing. Dani held the tourniquet in place until EMS arrived and transported Mr. Virtue to the Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. Although Mr. Virtue’s arm could not be reattached, without Dani’s selflessness he would likely have bled to death.

During the ceremony, County Executive Latimer and Correction Commissioner Joseph Spano presented Dani with the Westchester County Department of Correction’s Life Saving Medal.  

County Executive Latimer stated: “What we did here is both recognizing the actions of Dani, while also reinforcing the importance of trauma-related training for law enforcement officers in our County and in surrounding counties.  Even while off duty, correction officers and police may happen upon serious emergencies – and that is why Westchester County government devotes the time and money to train them in life-saving scenarios.”

Uncontrolled bleeding is a major cause of preventable deaths. Approximately 40% of trauma-related deaths worldwide are due to bleeding or its consequences, establishing hemorrhage as the most common cause of preventable death in trauma-involved events. As a countywide initiative, Westchester has strategically placed bleeding control kits alongside the AEDs that are maintained in its parks, office buildings and other county facilities. 

Matthew Levy, DO, Chair of the nonprofit Stop the Bleeding Coalition, stresses the importance of timely and appropriate trauma care and of the training received by Dani, stating: “Officer Dani’s quick recognition of life-threatening bleeding, and the actions he took to apply a tourniquet, were key in helping give this patient the best chances for survival. Severe bleeding can occur in the setting of a wide range of trauma situations from workplace mishaps to motor vehicle crashes to acts of violence. These bleeding control skills can be learned by anyone and can empower public safety personal and the lay public alike, to be an Immediate Responder.” 

 Levy encourages everyone to learn how to Stop the Bleed.