Colton City Mayor and Council presented Colton Fire Chief Tim McHargue with the Life Saving Award during the regular meeting on Tuesday, Apr. 5 for saving a woman’s life on February 16.
Chief McHargue was on the way to work on westbound I-10 that Thursday morning when he came across a stalled vehicle in the fast lane that appeared to have run into the center divider of the freeway. Initially, he perceived it to be a breakdown, but when he approached the car he witnessed an unconscious female without a pulse who was “in respiratory arrest and was preparing to die.”
With the assistance of a CHP officer, McHargue broke the window of the locked car to gain access to the individual and retrieved the Automatic External Defibrillator. He and a physician on-site alternated between chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until a Loma Linda medic engine arrived on the scene and took over life-saving measures. A few minutes later a weak pulse was restored and the individual became responsive and was consequently transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center. She survived the incident.
“There is no doubt that Chief McHargue’s actions increased the likelihood of survival for this individual, his efforts are worthy of recognition for his heroic actions, the city council wishes to award our Fire Chief Tim McHargue with this life-saving certificate,” declared Colton City Mayor Frank Navarro. “I and members of your city council, thank you for the example you set every day for the men and women of Colton’s fire department.”
Chief McHargue had no idea he was going to be recognized, and humbly stated, “I just did what I’d been trained to do.”
Additionally, the Colton Fire Department presented Chief McHargue with a Challenge Coin on behalf of the Mayor and City Council. According to Fire Marshall Ray Bruno, the department has several different kinds of Challenge Coins, but indicated the type bestowed to the Chief can’t be bought by members of the department or the public.
“This is only given out to our members for service above and beyond our normal jobs. A lot of people may say that going into a burning building is the toughest thing that we do, but to stop on a freeway with uncontrolled traffic in a vehicle that doesn’t have the big lights and sirens… is literally taking your life in your own hands,” Bruno declared. “To stop and render that aid and to see the outcome that we had, the chief absolutely made a difference in that person’s life.“
“It’s my honor, legitimately, to serve this community, and I love this community,” Chief McHargue expressed. “Thank you, I’ll always cherish this.”