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MFPD lifesaving rescues get good rap and awards

Keith Allain of Kingsland (left) and Marble Falls Police Sgt. Aaron Garcia fist bump on May 21, 2024, after Garcia was presented with an award for saving Allain’s life at The Home Depot. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

Keith Allain of Kingsland was buying Miracle-Gro at The Home Depot on May 3 when his heart stopped. Within minutes, off-duty Marble Falls Police Sgt. Aaron Garcia was on the job and starting lifesaving care. 

“Calling on his professionalism and training, Sgt. Garcia immediately went to the victim’s aid,” Marble Falls Police Chief Glenn Hanson told the City Council on May 21.

Garcia got other shoppers to continue CPR while he contacted 911.

“Upon the arrival of emergency personnel, Sgt. Garcia continued to assist other first responders until the victim was stabilized and later recovered,” Hanson said.

Garcia’s quick response earned him the Marble Falls Police Department’s prestigious Lifesaving Award, presented to him during the council’s Tuesday meeting. 

“Sgt. Garcia’s decisive action and service to this citizen reflects great credit on himself and the Marble Falls Police Department,” Hanson said. 

The award presentation was the first time Allain actually met the man who came to his rescue earlier in the month.

“The next time you give me (CPR), can you just give me a wet willy?” he joked to Garcia.

Allain explained how the officer’s heroism inspired him to give back by performing songs and comedy routines at local nursing homes.

“My heart has been opened up,” he said. “I’m going out to the nursing homes because they’re in desperate need of love. We need smiles on these people’s faces.”

The pair hugged before Allain performed a small comedy set and an accompanying rap ditty for the crowd at the meeting. Garcia chipped in with the rhythm.

Garcia wasn’t the only Marble Falls officer celebrated during the Tuesday meeting.

“It’s an honor to be able to recognize excellence and some of the fine team members we have at the Marble Falls Police Department,” Hanson told those in attendance. “The greatest honor I’ve ever had is (the city’s) trust to allow me to be their leader. It’s the greatest team I’ve ever been a part of.”

Sgt. Kevin Koch also received a Lifesaving Award for his efforts on April 26 when a crew member working on the Marble Falls ISD agriculture barn lost consciousness.

Marble Falls Police Sgt. Kevin Koch (left) received a Lifesaving Award from Police Chief Glenn Hanson on May 21, 2024. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

“He provided CPR until fire and EMS arrived,” Hanson said. “Upon their arrival, he continued to assist other first responders as they provided lifesaving measures for approximately 19 minutes.”

The victim regained a pulse while Koch and others provided care.

“He was stabilized, at which time, he was transported to the hospital and later recovered,” Hanson said.

Officer Ryan Kiec is the department’s Officer of the Year, voted on by his peers.

“He’s a dedicated employee,” Hanson said while reading submissions from Kiec’s fellow MFPD officers. “He never complains and takes any call, no matter what the nature is. He’s friendly and gets along with everyone.”

Kiec will be a school resource officer for Marble Falls ISD starting in the fall.

“We’re glad to have him,” Hanson said. “He’s a great example for everybody.”

Administrative assistant Ashley Rodriguez is MFPD’s Civilian Employee of the Year. She formerly served as records clerk for the department.

“When my wife retired from the police department, we hired Ashley to take her place,” Hanson said. “She’s done a magnificent job for us.”

The Civilian Employee of the Year award is also voted on by staff.

“(Rodriguez is) always willing to help anyone who comes in with questions,” Hanson said. “She makes an amazing impression on anyone who comes into the police department lobby. She tackles a vast array of duties and projects without complaint.”