Las Vegas police officers honored for lifesaving services

More than a year has passed since Las Vegas police officer Mike Madland was shot twice during a foot chase with a suspect near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Rainbow Boulevard.

One of the bullets pierced an artery in his leg; a life-threatening wound that required an hours-long surgery ­– the first of many.

In August, Madland was the recipient of the department’s Purple Heart medal. Back then, he said he was grateful to be alive and eager to be back on the job.

On Thursday, in uniform, Madland was once again the recipient of an award during a commendation ceremony hosted by Sheriff Doug Gillespie.

This time, the 32-year-old father and Air Force veteran was recognized by current members of the security force at Nellis Air Force Base.

"It’s the bond of the blue beret," said Maj. Chris Johnson, who presented Madland with an award from the base.

After the ceremony, Madland said he was thankful.

He was one of 61 people to be recognized by the department Thursday.

They include: Officers Matthew Pluck, Eric Charaska and Zachary Hammond, who on Sept. 6 entered a burning aircraft that crashed in a residential part of the city after taking off from Henderson Executive Airport, killing pilot Douglas Touchet and, ultimately, his wife Susan.

The officers were credited with saving the lives of two passengers, Randall and Tamika Savoy. The actions of the officers were described as distinctive and "above and beyond the call of duty."

Pluck and Charaska also received a Lifesaving Award for their role in saving an 80-year-old diner’s life after she quit breathing at a local restaurant.

Others who won the Lifesaving Award were: Peter Kruse, who saved a 7-year-old who was unresponsive after nearly drowning in a backyard pool last September; Andrew Bauman, who rescued an intoxicated man standing on a seventh-floor ledge at a local hotel; Wil Germosen, John Susich and Julie Holl, who rescued a suicidal man standing atop a parking garage.

Other officers were recognized for saving a man trapped in the Flamingo Wash during storm flooding; and performing CPR on a heart attack victim on the Las Vegas Strip.

Assistant Sheriff Raymond Flynn received the department’s Exemplary Service Award, as did several units.

"This gives you a good look at what this department does every day," said Gillespie.

Contact Doug McMurdo at dmcmurdo@reviewjournal. com or 702-224-5512.

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