Photo/Story Gallery 2008

Trooper Saves Child at Rest Area

Trooper TillerTrooper Tiller receiving award from President WiseWhile on Christmas Eve patrol on I-10 in the Florida Panhandle, Trooper William Tiller was called upon to help save a child’s life. When he entered an eastbound Rest Area, he met with a vehicle traveling the wrong direction. Upon stopping the driver of the vehicle in the parking lot, he learned that the family was having a medical emergency. A small child was in distress.

Trooper Tiller saw a little boy having convulsions and difficulty breathing. He immediately notified a duty officer at the Tallahassee Regional Communications Center to send Emergency Medical Services right away. He began first aid when he noticed the child’s breathing getting worse. He administered rescue breathing, which helped the child breathe better until EMS arrived.

Corporal Fisher and FHPA Captain Clark arrived on the scene to set up a landing area for the Gulf Flight helicopter. The child was flown to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola where he recovered.

Pictured above left, Trooper Tiller, and right, Dennis Wise, President of the American Federation of Police & Concerned Citizens, presents a  Lifesaving Award to Trooper William Tiller at the FHP headquarters in Crestview on Jan. 3.

News Article: Trooper receives life saving award

Published on Tuesday, January 8, 2008
in the Walton Sun

CRESTVIEW — Sometimes things happen for a reason.

On duty Christmas Eve, Florida Highway Patrolman William Tiller debated patrolling Interstate 10 or heading farther north. He first decided to see if anything was happening on the highway.

Once on the four-lane, Tiller realized his patrol car litter can needed emptying. He turned into the eastbound rest area near Crestview and dumped his refuse into a trash can.

As he departed, a routine patrol suddenly turned less routine.

A pick-up truck driving the wrong way on the rest area’s exit ramp caught Tiller’s attention. When he approached the truck to investigate, Tiller found a frantic family with a child in distress.

“When I looked at the child, there was obviously something wrong,” Tiller said. “The child was obviously having problems breathing.”

Kelvin Reed, 3, of Milton, traveling with his family for Christmas, accidentally had ingested some of a sibling’s medication.

“His respiratory system just shut down,” Tiller said. “He was just convulsing.”

Tiller promptly administered rescue breathing to the boy.

“He actually saved the little boy’s life,” said Dennis Wise, a 35-year law enforcement veteran and president of the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens.

Thursday afternoon, Wise presented Tiller with the American Police Hall of Fame’s Lifesaving Award at a ceremony at the Crestview FHP barracks.

With his wife Michele at his side, Tiller’s 6-year-old boy, Frank, pinned the cross on his father’s chest, saying he was “proud because he’s my daddy.”

Thanks to Tiller’s quick action, Kelvin Reed not only got to celebrate Christmas, he also turned 3 on Dec. 29.

“You hear people say your training takes over,” Tiller said modestly of his instinctive Christmas Eve heroism. “That was certainly true in this case.”