First responders win council recognition

Mayor Jay Barber and Police Chief Dave Ham at Monday's City Council meeting. The mayor delivered a proclamation recognizing the contributions of first responders.

Only a few minutes before the city was to deliver a proclamation honoring first responders, Police Chief Dave Ham presented recognition to four Seaside officers who had handled a dramatic crisis situation in August.

“At the 6 o’clock briefing for the night shift I presented some recognitions to four of our officers for an event on August 23 where we had a mentally disturbed person in crisis with a firearm,” Ham said. “Those officers handled that very professionally and with respect and dignity.”

Responding Sgt. Johannes Korpela and officers Matthew Brown, Elise Parkman and Nathan Tapper were all safe and the person received mental health treatment, Ham added.

Situations like that one are representative of the kind of training the city’s first responders draw upon, Ham said.

The officers were able to talk him down through the interaction, Ham said. “They were able to take him into custody to the hospital and get him to Clatsop County Behavioral Health.”

The mental health process took care of the crisis, he said.

Situations like that one are part of the training officers receive on the job and ongoing in service classes, and considered one of the department’s highest priorities.

“It was particularly a life-or-death crisis situation or crisis moment, not just for the affected mental health person, but the officers just arriving to a dangerous scene,” Ham said. “The officers were able to calm him down enough to get him to a safe environment to get the help he needed.”

The proclamation, read by Councilor Randy Frank, recognized the state’s career and first responders, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, 911 dispatchers and rescue personnel.

The proclamation declared Sept. 25-30 First Responder Appreciation Week and recognized the role of first responders in times in crisis and as volunteers for schools and community organizations.

“Acts of kindness and appreciation from citizens provide first responders needed encouragement and support to confront the dangerous and uncertain situations they face every day,” states the proclamation.

“A great way to express that is to, when you encounter first responders, to tell them how much you appreciate that service,” Barber added.

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