Arlington County Police Officer Andrew Schloe was working a stationary vehicular patrol on Interstate 66 last Aug. 15 when, at about 7:30 p.m., a truck pulled in front of him, and two very distraught parents sought assistance.
The mother was holding her small child, who was unconscious and clearly in need of immediate medical care. They earlier had called 9-1-1, but with language barriers and the couple not knowing exactly where they were, an ambulance was not in sight.
Recognizing there was no time to lose, Officer Schloe put the mother and child in his own vehicle and drove them to Virginia Hospital Center.
They arrived just in time: The young child was suffering seizures caused by a highly elevated body temperature, arriving in a condition so critical that it could easily have resulted in death, doctors said.
After being stabilized at the Arlington hospital, the child was transferred to Children’s National Medical Center for specialized care and recovery.
Because of Officer Schloe’s quick decision-making, a tragedy was averted. And for his efforts, on June 28 he was honored with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s Life-Saving Award during a ceremony held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.
It was among three life-saving awards presented that day to members of Arlington’s public-safety community, for efforts occurring over the past year.
Also receiving the Life-Saving Award was Arlington County Police Officer Ryan Williams, who last July 27 was dispatched to a Crystal City restaurant, where a man had suffered a heart attack.
Officer Williams took control of the situation, performed CPR and continued to work on the stricken man as medics arrived to perform additional life-saving measures. The individual was transported to George Washington University Hospital, where he made a recovery.
Also receiving honors were Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Grant Dean and Deputy Matthew Camardi, for working together March 8 to save the life of a man held at the Arlington County Detention Facility who had attempted to hang himself in his cell.
Recipients of Public-Safety Awards (previously the Valor Awards) are nominated by their agencies, with the submissions reviewed by a panel that in 2017 included Chamber chairman Tina Walker of BAE Systems, former chairman Todd Yeatts of Boeing and Scott McCaffrey of the Sun Gazette.
County Board Chairman Jay Fisette thanked the business community for honoring the life-saving efforts, and for “appreciating and respecting our public-safety personnel.”
Also honored during the ceremony were recipients of Meritorious Service Awards, selected by their agencies. They included:
• Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Paul Larson was saluted for more than a decade of service, which came on the heels of a 20-year career with the Arlington County Police Department and included a key role at the Pentagon on 9/11.
• Arlington Police Detective Robert Icolari was honored for more than 25 years of service with the department, which followed 21 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. With the police, Icolari has worked to close cold cases, and has served as a crisis negotiator.
• Arlington Firefighter/EMT Jeffrey Zynel was honored for his work training fire personnel just starting in their careers, and his efforts on committees that work to improve firefighter health and supported families of those in the ranks.
• Will Flagler was honored for his work in the Office of Emergency Management, including duty as interim director of the Emergency Communication Center during a six-month stretch.
All of the award recipients received letters from U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), saluting them for their efforts.
The public-safety awards were presented in tandem with a program that also featured a “State of the County” speech by Jay Fisette.
The event’s grand sponsor was Virginia Hospital Center, which is “beyond a great hospital – a true leader in the field,” said Chamber president Kate Bates.