Olive Branch Officer honored as for saving a life

By The Associated Press

OLIVE BRANCH — The police department in Olive Branch has recognized one of its own with a lifesaving award.

Forty-two-year-old Reyshann Hanna was honored on Friday at a meeting attended by Chief Don Gammage, Mayor Sam Rikard, the Board of Aldermen and a room full of fellow officers.

Also there was the man Hannah helped save, 52-year-old Herbert Smith.

The Commercial Appeal reports that Hannah was patrolling on Feb. 15 when he heard over his police radio that a motorist had possibly suffered a heart attack, lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree.

Hannah, a former firefighter and emergency medical technician, was first on the scene. He helped get the unconscious Smith out of the locked vehicle and did chest compressions until emergency medical personnel arrived to re-start Smith’s heart.

Smith, tethered to an oxygen tank, got choked up while addressing Friday’s crowd.

“I’m just so blessed to be here and I want to thank everyone involved,” said Smith, who works for a roofing company and was on his way to his home in Lake Cormorant when the accident occurred. “You have a great, great organization.”

Smith, who was taken to Baptist Hospital DeSoto and then flown to the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, has no recollection of the moments before the health emergency or of the heroic saving of his life. He said the apparent heart attack was a complete surprise since he practices a healthy lifestyle. He is still recovering.

Hannah received a framed certificate for his efforts and will receive a medal.

“Even though it says my name on it, I would like to add two more,” Hannah told the crowd. He identified Sgt. Jamie Simmons and officer Rudy Rumbarger. “They were on the scene with me also.”