When police responded to an emergency at a construction site in Roslyn Heights Feb. 13, Adam Meyer, a former U.S. Army combat field medic, happened to be one of the officers.
He and his colleagues arrived to find a construction worker in critical condition, with both of his legs severed after a steel plate weighing more than 2,500 pounds fell on them.
Meyer and Officer Michael Kenney used tourniquets to ease the victim’s bleeding, an effort that a trauma surgeon said saved the worker’s life, said Nassau Police Benevolent Association president James McDermott.
The officers along with Police Medic Cathleen Fay were honored by the Nassau County Legislature Monday for their efforts at the legislature’s monthly “Top Cops” recognition.
“This man can now live on and he can continue his life,” Legislator Laura Schaefer (R-Westbury) told the officers. “I want to thank you because that’s probably the greatest gift you can give to somebody is to save their life.”
The victim, 39, was pinned into an approximately 10-foot-deep hole when the steel plate fell on him. By entering the hole, Meyer and Kenney risked their lives because the walls could have collapsed, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
“We’re always asked to put ourselves out there and be that first line of defense,” he said. “They were the first line of defense for that man that day, and because of the work that they did, they saved their life. So they truly are heroes.”
The incident occurred at 8:05 a.m. around Corncrib Lane and Locust Lane, the police reported that day.
The tourniquet that Meyer used to control the victim’s bleeding was his personal equipment, not department issue, McDermott said.
Meyer served for three U.S. Army tours, two of which were in Iraq and one in Kuwait.
“Every call’s different,” Meyer said. “We weren’t aware of the severity until we arrived, and it quickly became a situation that was desperate.”
The medics helped transport the victim to NYU Winthrop Hospital.
While this was a highly unusual event, the officers’ efforts are representative of the police as a whole, McDermott said.
“This is just the work we do,” he said. “We do great work. But this was exceptional because [Meyer] was beyond prepared.”