The dedication of emergency responders

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 24, 2021

On June 24, 2021, just after noon I was returning from Picayune on 1-59 just south of Poplarville, and came upon a bad wreck. A vehicle had run off the highway down a steep slope and crashed into large trees. It was obvious it was bad and only one officer was on the scene, a Poplarville city policeman whom I did not recognize.

The driver was lying on the steep slope just outside the vehicle which was obviously totaled and smoking. The officer was lightly holding the driver who was repeatedly trying to stand and approach his wrecked pickup, but falling back onto the officer because of the steep slope and his condition.

The officer was trying to calm and restrain the bleeding, sweating and very confused driver, who was young and very strong. It was a really volatile situation because the man was visibly upset, irrational, and either badly injured or very impaired. It was at least 95+ degrees and the victim and officer were both sweating profusely and the victim was bleeding.

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The officer, who I later learned was Asley Lambert, was acting very, very professionally and controlling the situation in a very calm and rational manner. The situation was very volatile and could have ended tragically if the officer had not done such a good job. It was difficult for him to communicate with dispatch because his protective gloves were wet from the encounter and having to touch the driver. He had to remove them so he could effectively operate his hand held radio, exposing himself to the victim’s sweat and blood, yet he had to be constantly touching the victim.

After a while other officers and first responders arrived and we left, but it reminded me of the fact that every day our police officers and first responders take care of serious situations very competently and professionally at great risk to themselves and deserve much more attention, respect and recognition than we give them.

By Joe Montgomery