Officers Awarded for Saving Three Overdose Victims’ Lives


HOT SPRINGS, Ark.-Two Hot Springs police officers were awarded for saving the lives of 3 people during a triple overdose.  

It happened at a downtown hotel.  Police say they got a 9-11 call about a possible overdose and if it wasn’t for these officers it could’ve been a triple death investigation.  

“We are seeing a rise in those overdoses,” says Cpl. Joey Williams, HSPD.  “That’s an epidemic.”

Back in July Officer Shawn Woodall and Officer First Class Ben Riley responded to The Springs, a hotel on Central Ave. where they found three people unresponsive who had apparently overdosed.

“[With] A sternum rub they were able to revive two of the male subjects and there was a female that was in the bathtub that was unable to be revived that way,” says Cpl. Williams. 

If it hadn’t been for hotel staff and the quick response of the officers, likely all three would have died. 

The water was still running in the tub where the woman was found and time was running short. 

“Obviously with an opiate type overdose if they don’t get medical treatment or something to reverse those effects, death usually comes pretty quickly,” says Cpl. Williams. 

Thankfully the third victim responded to Narcan, something that officers have had to use five other times since then.

“I know that it’s a big problem,” says Carolyn Ellison, a nurse in Hot Springs.  “I know from firsthand experiences.”

Ellison says this near tragedy is all too familiar. 

“It gets them into trouble and it’s sad because some people do lose their lives,” says Ellison.  “I’m just glad they didn’t.” 

In the fall the Hot Springs Police Chief started issuing life saving awards to officers who go above and beyond in the line of duty.  Both Officer Woodall and Officer First Class Riley were recipients of that award.

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