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PURCELLVILLE POLICE OFFICER HONORED WITH VALOR AWARD
PURCELLVILLE, Va., April 25, 2022 — Today, Purcellville Police Department Sergeant Robert Wagner was honored at the 2022 Loudoun Chamber’s Annual Valor Awards held at the Lansdowne Resort in Lansdowne, Virginia. Sergeant Robert Wagner received a Lifesaving Award for his heroic actions during an incident in 2021.
On September 28, 2021, Sergeant Robert Wagner was off-duty and in civilian attire, while operating a marked Purcellville Police Department SUV in Frederick County, Virginia. Sergeant Wagner was at the home of a fellow Purcellville officer handling an administrative task of an equipment exchange. While he was outside the residence, he was flagged-down by a man running in his direction pushing a baby stroller. The man advised Sergeant Wagner of a female who appeared to be unconscious behind the wheel of a vehicle at a nearby playground.
Sergeant Wagner quickly responded to the playground and located the vehicle with the female inside. He found her unresponsive and slumped over toward the passenger seat. Initially, Sergeant Wagner attempted to awaken the woman by calling to her, gently shaking her, and then performing a sternum rub. When these efforts proved unsuccessful, Sergeant Wagner checked her vital signs and determined the woman was not breathing and had no pulse. At that point, Sergeant Wagner examined the victim further and recognized physiological indications of drug use.
After confirming one of the nearby bystanders was on the phone with Frederick County 911, Sergeant Wagner ran to his police vehicle, retrieved a dose of department-issued Naloxone Nasal Spray (Narcan), and returned to the woman. Sergeant Wagner administered the drug as he was trained, but never before called upon to perform. When there was no rapid response from the patient, Sergeant Wagner feared he was too late to save her. As Sergeant Wagner prepared to reposition the woman’s body to begin CPR, she suddenly moaned and then gasped for air. Moments later, she began to regain consciousness. As the woman awoke and became aware of her surroundings, she also became scared. Sergeant Wagner established a rapport, kept her calm, and remained kneeling by her side until transferring care to rescue personnel from Stephens City Rescue Squad, who arrived approximately seven minutes later. Deputies from Frederick County Sheriff’s Office also responded and took control of the scene. During an interview with the deputies, the woman admitted she took Fentanyl.
Sergeant Wagner’s off-duty performance on the afternoon of September 28, 2021, represents the very best of the Purcellville Police Department. Sergeant Wagner’s actions clearly demonstrate his commitment to public service and dedication to training. His quick thinking, knowledge in the use of Narcan, and desire to save lives serve as models for every officer. Were it not for Sergeant Wagner’s quick and crucial action, the female victim likely would not have survived.
“Sergeant Wagner went above and beyond the normal duties for a police officer and I am proud to have him as part of the Purcellville Police Department. This incident shows that even while an officer is not working, we are never officially “off-duty.” People like Sergeant Wagner who choose public service as a profession, have a servant’s heart and never hesitate to respond when there is a call for help, even if they are outside our jurisdiction. I am so proud of all the first responders and citizens honored at today’s ceremony and we are grateful to work alongside so many dedicated fellow public servants in Loudoun County,” said Purcellville Police Chief Cynthia McAlister.
The Loudoun County Valor Awards program awards were established by the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the local public safety agencies, to recognize and acknowledge members of the various public safety departments, as well as everyday citizens, who have placed themselves in harm's way over the past year to ensure the safety of others.
A total of 11 courageous citizens and 93 heroic first responders from the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and the Town of Leesburg Police Department were also recognized at the event.
The Town of Purcellville, Virginia
“Purcellville-your small Town, where history and progress intersect and people prosper,” is an award-winning town of over 10,000 residents located in Loudoun County, approximately 50 miles west of Washington, DC. Having received the prestigious Siemens Sustainability Award for Small Communities, Purcellville continues to be honored for its green initiatives with most recently being the Tree City USA recipient for the 13th year. The Town was reaffirmed as a AAA rated community by S&P Global Ratings, the highest credit rating possible, and is ranked “Safest City” in Virginia in 2020. Once a stop along the W&OD rail line, which has been converted to a multi-use trail from Alexandria, VA to Purcellville, the Town has maintained its historic old-town feel through the restoration and maintenance of its many downtown structures, reflecting the Victorian architecture popular during the early 1900s. Today, Purcellville is the economic hub of western Loudoun County and a popular weekend destination for antiquing, equestrian activities, farmer’s markets, wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. More info at www.purcellvilleva.gov.