Hogansville Police Department’s Officer Heath McKinney recognized for his quick thinking

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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On Monday during the Hogansville City Council meeting, Hogansville Police Department’s Officer Heath McKinney was recognized for his heroic acts that helped save resident Michael Moon’s life on June 27.

On that day, McKinney responded call reporting a to a person bleeding profusely from an injury to his ankle. At the time, the fire department and EMS were on another call and were going to be delayed getting to Moon.

“As soon as Heath was able to leave the call he was on backing up the sheriff’s department, he came to this call because it was going to be a delayed response from the fire department and EMS just due to the call volume in the county,” Hogansville Police Chief Jeff Sheppard said.

“When he arrived on the scene, he entered the bathroom where they were trying to control the bleeding to his ankle, with towels, and they were unable to control the bleeding. Witnesses there said Mr. Moon was pale and had lost a lot of blood.  Officer McKinney jumped into action and used improvisers with what was there at the house to control the bleeding.”

Sheppard said McKinney applied a tourniquet above the ankle to slow the major portion of the bleeding.

“After some time waiting on the fire department and EMS who were still delayed, the family chose to just put him in the car and drive him straight to the hospital themselves. But there’s no doubt if he had not been there controlling the bleeding Mr. Moon would have gone unconscious.”

Upon being recognized for his actions, McKinney said he was speechless.

“I haven’t gotten any awards for almost anything I’ve done being an adult working in public safety. Situations like this are unfortunately a part of the job. If you happen to save a life, you save a life,” McKinney said.

“I am just grateful that I was able to save Mr. Moon’s life. He would have bled out in front of his six-year-old daughter and that to me was the most important thing. His little girl saying please don’t let my daddy die and him asking me not to let him die pushed me to think of any way to save him and slow the bleeding until he got help. It means a lot to me that I was able to keep him from passing on. I’m still in shock from being recognized by this city.”

Rebecca Carroll, the significant other of Moon, said she appreciated the work McKinney did to save her partner.

“When he started bleeding, I didn’t know what to do and was trying to hold towels on the spot to keep the blood from fraying out it but wasn’t working. He jumped in action and got the job done and stabilized,” Carroll said. “I want to tell him Officer McKinney thank you. You are a lifesaver and hero. My little girl thinks he can fix anyone now.”

Sheppard said McKinney has experience as an EMT and came from a firefighter background before becoming a police officer in Hogansville.

“It always makes me proud when my officers have the initiative they do this. It shows that police officers are there to help the community regardless of whether it’s a law enforcement issue or a medical issue,” Sheppard said. “We back up the fire department and EMS in Hogansville a lot just because we’re the farthest north, and sometimes it does take a little bit to get an ambulance up here. But, I’m very proud of the work that he did, and I’m proud of what all my officers do.”