LEON VALLEY, Texas – Two Leon Valley police officers are being recognized for their quick thinking that helped save two lives.
In 2014, Cpl. Chad Mandry was one of the first officers to respond to an apartment fire. He quickly ran into the building to help clear people out. He knocked on doors and busted some open.
One of the people in need was an elderly woman who was walking as fast as she could on a walker.
“She got her walker and it wasn’t going to work,” Mandry said. “I went to carry her over my shoulder, and we went out the front of the building and around the back side to safety.”
Mandry continued his efforts until firefighters arrived.
On Tuesday, Mandry received the Life Saving Medal award from the city. He said the moment was bittersweet.
“I got to save this 80-85-year old woman. I got to get some people out of the building, but its bittersweet because a young lady still passed away," Mandry said.
Through his 10 years with the city, Mandry has also helped talked down a suicidal person who was threatening to harm himself.
Earlier this year, Officer Jose Espinoza responded to a call for medical help.
“The lady was actively grabbing her neck,” Espinoza said.
Someone had tried to perform the Heimlich maneuver but was not able to help her. Espinoza said he jumped in to help.
“I did three thrusts to get the chicken bone she was choking on,” Espinoza said.
He said the woman was grateful.
Espinoza has been with the city for one year. He said he learned the livesaving skill through CPR classes, but learned the importance of it when his own life was saved as a child when he was choking on food.
“Everybody in general should take some kind of classes on how to handle someone choking,” he said. “If you don’t have to use it, that’s great, but when you do, it could save a life.”
Espinoza received the same city recognition and also won recognition from the American Heart Association through the Red Cross.