By Bryan Boggiano
The Coral Springs city commission honored a police officer whose quick thinking prevented a potential tragedy, saved a life, and kept a family whole.
Officer Luc Vaval received the honor surrounded by members of the city commission, the city’s police department, and the man whom he saved, Luis Bautista, and his family.
On the morning of March 29, Vaval responded to a call of an accidental shooting. Bautista getting ready for work, and as he was packing his car, his firearm slipped through the holster and discharged, shooting him in his upper right arm, according to city documents.
Bautista ran to his neighbor’s home, Ryan Ratner, who snatched a belt and applied it to Bautista’s arm to slow the bleeding. His wife, Anne, called 911.
Vaval was the first officer to respond to the incident and immediately provided emergency medical first aid.
He quickly determined that Bautista had a damaged artery and that a tourniquet was the necessary treatment for the injury. Police department personnel started carrying tourniquets about 15 years ago, according to Police Chief Brad McKeone.
Vaval applied the tourniquet to the appropriate location to stop the bleeding and save Bautista’s life. He calmly reassured Bautista until medical rescue personnel arrived at the scene.
While reviewing body camera footage of the incident, his sergeant noted Vaval’s quick and calm demeanor. It was less than one minute From when Vaval arrived at the scene until he applied the tourniquet.
“I have chills; oh, my god, thank you so much,” Mayor Scott Brook said, reading the recognition.
After recovering in the ICU, Bautista sent a letter to McKeone, expressing his gratitude for Vaval’s lifesaving actions on that fateful morning.
“Needless to say, without his quick actions, my wife would’ve been making funeral arrangements rather than planning my 50th birthday party,” Bautista wrote in the letter. ” Officer Vaval saved my life; words cannot express my gratitude, and I’m eternally indebted to him.”
Recognizing Vaval’s lifesaving actions, McKeone echoed a quote from former Police Chief Clyde Parry.
“As a police officer, you know you’re going to have the ability to change people’s lives, you’re gonna impact people’s lives, but if you’re lucky enough, you’ll know those stories, or you’ll hear about the impact that you had,” McKeone said. “You can see the impact you had, and you saved a life.”
Bautista again expressed his thanks to Vaval, but he met his hero in person this time.
“If it wasn’t for this gentleman, it would’ve been a sad story,” Bautista said. “Thank you for saving my life.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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