Vacationing York Area Regional officers, paramedic help save Lancaster man in Ocean City

Harper Ho
York Dispatch
York Area Regional Police Chief Tim Damon gave paramedic Meagan Fatland, and officers Jeremy Fatland and Mitchell Darius letters of commendation during a meeting. April 13, 2021.

Three York Area Regional Police officers and a paramedic have been recognized for saving a Lancaster County man whose leg was severed in a Maryland motorcycle crash last year.

Officers Jeremy Fatland, Mitchell Darius and Robert Miller and paramedic Meagan Fatland were commended recently by the York Area Regional Police Department for taking action and potentially saving the Ephrata man's life, said Chief Tim Damon.    

The four were vacationing in September in Ocean City and were looking for a restaurant when they heard a crash and saw a motorcycle sliding down the street, he said. They were about 50 to 70 feet away and didn't hesitate to help because they knew someone might be injured, Damon said.

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"They ran toward the crash location. They found a man lying nearby that had his leg amputated from below the knee. He was going into shock and he was sustaining some severe blood loss," Damon said on Tuesday.

The group used a belt as a tourniquet and applied pressure to slow the bleeding minutes before police arrived, Damon said. 

"When you have an amputation, you might not have a couple minutes to live if you're having severe blood lose. So if they didn't do anything, that guy might not have lived," he said. "They got involved because that's what they do. I was pretty proud that they did that."

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Local police responded about 8:44 p.m. to Philadelphia Avenue and 23rd Street after the motorcycle collided with a passenger van, according to DelmarvaNow. The motorcyclist was flown to the University of Maryland Medical Center, according to the Maryland Coast Dispatch

Damon heard the story through the grapevine more than a month later and organized a ceremony. Three of them received letters of commendation April 8 at a monthly police commission meeting. 

"They're not seeking recognition from it, because I didn't even hear about this when they came back from vacation," the chief said. "It was the appropriate place to give some recognition for something that they didn't have to do but they did. And in doing that, they were able to save somebody's life." 

None of the vacationers were available for comments.