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Photo by Diane Cox
Telecommunicators Derek Mormino and Arron Weber receive letters of commendations for helping to save 1-year-old Hartford girl’s life.
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Photo by Diane Cox
Wood River Sgt. Timothy Gegen received a letter of commendation for his part in the identification and apprehension of a dangerous suspect.
WOOD RIVER — Police Chief Otis Steward presented letters of commendation Monday to telecommunicators Derek Mormino and Arron Weber for helping to save a child’s life.
Wood River dispatchers received a frantic 911 call Thursday, March 26, from a mother in Hartford who told Mormino her 1-year-old daughter was unresponsive, not breathing and turning blue. Mormino instructed the woman to do CPR on her child while Weber dispatched emergency personnel to the scene.
“The instructions given by Mormino ultimately led to the child breathing on her own before emergency crews arrived,” Steward said. “There is no doubt in my mind that between Mormino and Weber, their actions saved that child’s life.”
The Wood River Police Department received information at 4:20 a.m. Saturday, March 28, concerning an unlawful restraint, sexual assault, aggravated battery, robbery and stolen vehicle. The incident occurred in Beardstown, Ill., and an 83-year-old woman was released in Pontoon Beach. The male suspect was last seen in the victim’s vehicle.
While on patrol around 9 a.m., Sgt. Timothy Gegen observed a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle at the Bel-Air Motel, 524 W. Ferguson Ave. Gegen confirmed the vehicle was the automobile in question in front of room 24. Gegen requested assistance and contacted the motel owner. The owner confirmed that the man driving the vehicle arrived alone at approximately 5 a.m. Officers approached room 24 and a man opened the curtains and quickly shut them after seeing officers drawing near. To prevent evidence destruction and because of the severity of the charges, Gegen had the motel owner open the door and the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
“Sergeant Gegen’s leadership and excellent police work led to the apprehension of a very dangerous person,” Steward said.
Mayor Frank Akers commended the dispatchers’ performance and Gegen before the council and those in attendance.
“For those of us on the council, this is the most thrilling types of events that we can have,” Akers said. “By a long shot, it’s very positive to see our employees being recognized by those knowing you’re out there working and doing your jobs every day. Sometimes things happen that are out of the ordinary, so we thank you.”