Las Vegas police officer Christopher Allen and his father were reeling in fish at Lake Mead National Recreation Area when they suddenly heard screams from a nearby family.
The family’s vehicle had begun to roll down a steep hill on the edge of the lake and, in the process, run over a 3-year-old girl’s leg.
“We both jumped in the water because we figured the vehicle was going to completely go in, but it luckily stopped,” said Allen, remembering last year’s Fourth of July weekend.
The two men quickly sprung into action, with father Chris Allen tending to the girl’s leg and son Christopher Allen jumping into the vehicle to remove her older sister. After applying a tourniquet to the 3-year-old’s leg, the father and son waited for the fire department and a helicopter to arrive as they kept family calm.
Without their actions, the girl may have died of a compound leg fracture, Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Jaime Ioos said. Officer Christopher Allen was one of the 56 employees that the department awarded for acts of “bravery and excellence” during a ceremony Wednesday afternoon.
Chris Allen, a retired Clark County volunteer firefighter, received the only citizen award given out.
“We can see helping is a family trait,” Ioos said.
The father and son said they kept in touch with the family in the weeks after the injury and reported that the girl was doing well post-surgery.
“She was learning to walk again and going through rehabilitation to get back on her feet,” Chris Allen said.
Held every few months, Wednesday’s ceremony was the first open to family and friends since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards highlighted community service, exemplary service and lifesaving efforts.
“I appreciate everyone coming today because that makes it even better,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.
Other awards were given out to a group of officers who tracked down a suspect after he threw a 2-month-old baby off a balcony and started a fire. Officers who apprehended domestic terrorists planning to attack officers with Molotov cocktails were also honored, with officers who arrested a suspect before he could use a firearm outside a Strip casino.
Officer Kehaunani Balatico received one of two lifesaving awards given for providing CPR to an unresponsive woman that police said probably would have died without intervention.
After the ceremony, Metro Capt. Fred Haas gave Chris Allen a Metropolitan Police Department “Summerlin Area Command Challenge Coin.”
The coins are given out for extraordinary actions and serve as “a reminder to always do what’s right,” Christopher Allen said.
Chris Allen plans on adding the coin to his collection. Three years ago, he received one from a Spring Valley Area Command police sergeant for his part in raising Christopher Allen.
Contact Mathew Miranda at [email protected] Follow @mathewjmiranda on Twitter.