Marshalltown Officers Honored For Life-Saving Teamwork

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa  --  Marshalltown police officers will say it was just another day on the job.

"It's what we do and it's not something we go out and try and get recognized for," said officer Vern Jefferson.

That is why the city made sure everyone knew their actions this fall were extraordinary.

"Immediately, when we first got there, it was very obvious that he was in dire straits and would need immediate assistance," recalled Sergeant Melinda Ruopp.

On September 19th, police arrived to the 700 block of North 3rd Street in Marshalltown after a 911 hangup call.

Chief Michael Tupper said, "An adult male had severely injured himself and the male subject was bleeding profusely."

Officer Brad Mauseth was first on the scene when he saw the man suffering from self-inflicted neck wounds.

"No matter how much you are trained, when you walk into a situation like that you still have that 'oh my God' moment when you walk in," said Mauseth.

Trying to save the man's life, Officer Mauseth knew he needed help.

"I don't think one could have done it, I don't think two could have done it.  We definitely needed all four of us chipped in, and even the four of us it was a lot of work," said Sergeant Ruopp.

Officers were able to render aid together.

"When I walked into the scene, my three partners were actively fighting with the subject to get him under control and get him first aid," said Detective Dawn Blahnik.

"The biggest part was just communication that we had with each other and understanding what we are going to do, what the next step is going to be," said Jefferson.

It was life-saving action, despite the man's efforts to prevent it.

Mauseth said, "One thing that you see over time in people that are in this mental state and in a mental health crisis, once that crisis is passed they are glad they didn't successfully commit their task."

The Marshalltown Police Department's life-saving award is just a small token for what these brave men and women say is an every day occurrence.

Ruopp said, "I am 100% certain every officer in our department deserves this award, for one thing or another, that they've done in their career."