Susan Ralston remembers how prepared Lawrence police officer Tina Shambaugh was as the first responder when Ralston’s husband, Jim, stopped breathing Aug. 20 at their Lawrence home.
Valor Public Safety Award winners
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office: Deputy Joey Frost and Deputy Kristen Dymacek – Life Saving Valor Award. Deputy Bradley Bissey – Meritorious Service Valor Award.
Lawrence Douglas County Fire-Medical: Engineer Nicholas Simon – Life Saving Valor Award.
Lawrence Police Department: Meritorious Service Award: Sergeant Trent McKinley; Officer Samuel Hiatt; Sergeant Anthony Brixius. Life Saving Valor Award: Officer Tina Shambaugh; Officer Tracy Russell; Officer Leo Souders; Officer Charles Stewart. Meritorious Service Valor Award and Bronze Valor Award – Officer Steven Ramsdell. Bronze Valor Award: Sergeant Susan Hadl (retired); Officer Steven Verbanic; Officer Sutagee Anglin; Officer Adam Welch; and Officer Shawn Gross.
- Lawrence Chamber of Commerce
“When she was walking up, she already had a plan,” Ralston said.
Shambaugh quickly assessed Jim and immediately began CPR until medical personnel arrived. Ralston credits the quick reaction and aid from Shambaugh with saving her husband’s life.
“He would not be” alive, said Ralston, whose husband continues to recover from the medical emergency.
And Tuesday, Ralston got an opportunity to publicly thank Shambaugh, on the very stage at the Lied Center where her husband, a retired KU music professor, directed his students.
Shambaugh was one of 17 police and fire personnel honored at the second annual Valor Public Safety Awards, presented by the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. The children of the day’s award winners are eligible for a $1,000 post-secondary education stipend, and five were awarded to children of last year’s recipients.
Several life-saving stories were shared during the luncheon Tuesday.
There were the officers who mediated a domestic disturbance involving a gun, those who talked a suicidal man down from of a bridge, and several others who rendered immediate and life-saving aid.
Shambaugh was among seven officers to receive a Life-Saving Award. She shrugged off being called a life-saver.
“You don’t really look at it that way,” said Shambaugh, mentioning all the other medical and police personnel who assist in such cases. Winning a personal award for doing her job was “overwhelming,” she said.
Waterville resident Gay Belcher welcomed the opportunity Tuesday to thank her life-savers, Lawrence police officers Tracy Russell and Leo Souders, whom Belcher calls her “guardian angels.”
Belcher had heart trouble on Aug. 15 while visiting her Lawrence lawyers. She stopped breathing, but Russell and Souders administered CPR and used other life-saving equipment that kept Belcher alive to have heart surgery.
Belcher had plenty of hugs to give out and said she thanked her life-savers “very humbly.”
“They were there,” she said.