Morgan County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Dennis Jenkins and Sgt. Wade Shambaugh were named as recipients of their department’s Life-Saving Award on Wednesday, August 21. The officers were honored for their response to a 911 hang-up in July that led to the discovery of potentially fatal carbon monoxide in a Great Cacapon home.
Sheriff K.C. Bohrer told the Morgan County Commissioners during the presentation that officers get 911 hang-up calls “all the time” but the pair’s fast response to this early morning call resulted in the rescue of three people and four dogs from a gas-filled residence.
Deputy Jenkins arrived at the Central Avenue home shortly before 2 a.m. and kicked in the front door after looking through a window and seeing a woman lying on the floor. Sgt. Shambaugh arrived and entered the residence shortly afterwards and the two officers found multiple unresponsive people and dogs in the home. After a very short time in the residence, the officers started to feel sick and had to leave the building. They suspected carbon monoxide in the residence and called for additional units. Great Cacapon and Berkeley Springs fire and rescue companies responded to the home with air packs to remove the residents and animals. Local EMS administered medical treatment to the residents, all of whom survived. Responders said a generator was running unvented in the basement of the home.
Emergency responders said if police had waited to open the door of the home, it’s likely the carbon monoxide would have been fatal for the occupants.
Deputy Jenkins has served with the Sheriff’s Department since 2008. This was his first life-saving award.
Sgt. Shambaugh has been a member of the department since 2004. He received a Life-Saving Award in 2018 for being first on the scene of an overdose call and reviving an individual before EMS arrived.