Two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officers were recently recognized for their courageous and lifesaving efforts while responding to the tragic shooting incident at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), on December 6 that killed three professors.
Officers Jacob Noriega and Ty Vesperas were honored by department and community leaders during the ceremony held at Resorts World on January 25.
The executive director of the LVMPD Foundation, Karen Marben, commended Noriega and Vesperas for their quick actions, which likely saved the life of a critically injured faculty member. She highlighted the importance of their training and quick response in such dire situations, declaring: “We know seconds matter when you’re losing a lot of blood.”
Upon encountering the wounded victim while responding to the call of shots fired at UNLV’s Beam Hall, the two officers applied a tourniquet to his wounded limb and put him in the back of their cruiser. Noriega climbed in with him and applied pressure to his wounds while Vesperas drove to an ambulance a few blocks away. The identity of the injured faculty member they aided has not been disclosed.
During the ceremony, LVMPD Deputy Chief Reggie Rader showed gratitude for the officers’ dedication.
“I just told them how proud we are of them,” he said. “A lot of people have jobs they do; this is truly a calling. This is a profession for first responders.”
The officers were presented with the LVMPD Foundation’s prestigious “Good Ticket” award, along with bouquets of flowers. Additionally, Resorts World extended its appreciation by offering the officers and their families two-night stays at the property, show tickets and vouchers for food and drinks.
In a humble address, Vesperas thanked the department for the extensive training it provided, and also acknowledged the support of their families in their demanding and often perilous profession.
Both officers had received training at the Joint Emergency Training Institute, where they learned essential lifesaving techniques such as using tourniquets. Rader said that all of the department’s officers are put through mandatory quarterly training, as well as extensive annual training on a dummy with simulated injuries that is “very similar to combat medicine.” All officers are also equipped with first aid medical kits. The foundation’s contribution to funding the training center and subsidizing lifesaving equipment for LVMPD officers was also acknowledged during the ceremony.
Rader noted that the officers were well equipped to apply such skills when responding to the emergencies they regularly encounter in the course of their jobs, including crashes and shootings, as well as being prepared for mass casualty events.