Elizabethtown communications trooper presented with award


RALEIGH — Col. Glenn M. McNeill Jr., commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and Erik A. Hooks, secretary of the Department of Public Safety, presented numerous awards in a ceremony on Tuesday.

The total of 23 awards included TSS Charlotte H. West of Troop B Communications in Elizabethtown, who was recognized with a Samaritan Service Award, given to a member of the Highway Patrol who went beyond the call of duty to aid or assist a fellow citizen.

According to the report:

”On Wednesday, Oct. 4, Telecommunications Shift Supervisor Charlotte West reported for her shift (and) her supervisor, Telecommunications Center Supervisor Debbie Reilley, was speaking to another telecommunicator and noticed that Reilley was talking slower than normal and appeared to be having difficulty saying her words.

“West asked her if she was feeling OK and was told she was fine and just tired.

“A short time later West asked her supervisor a question and again she noticed something was not right and thought her supervisor may be having a medical issue. West took Reilley outside and informed her that she thought something was wrong medically and explained what she was noticing. West asked her supervisor if she wanted go to the hospital, but she refused and tried to ensure West that she was OK.

“After much persuasion, Reilley agreed to go to her doctor’s office. West told her she would not allow her to drive and that she would take her in her personal vehicle. West contacted Reilley’s husband and explained what was going on. He met them and led them to the doctor’s office. West waited at the doctor’s office while Reilley was examined. After being examined by the doctor, Reilley was sent to the local emergency room suspecting she was having a stroke.

“Once at the hospital, it was determined that Reilley did not suffer a stroke but was … suffering from low potassium which could have resulted in death. After immediate medical intervention and several days in the hospital Reilley made a full recovery.”

The report added that the attentive eyes, observation and true concern of West most likely saved Reilley’s life.

“We are proud to recognize the tremendous efforts and sacrifices that our members nobly make when called upon,” said McNeill. “To come together and acknowledge their actions is a joyous occasion for our organization and the State of North Carolina.”

Other awards given included the State Highway Patrol Award of Valor, Purple Heart Award, Meritorious Service Award, Colonel’s Appreciation Award, Samaritan Award, Tommy Cheek Award for Collision Reduction and the Humanitarian Service Award.