Kendrah Cline, an officer with the Virginia Tech Police Department for more than four years, has received the university's 2015 President's Award for Excellence.
The President's Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize.
Cline received the award following a heroic act she performed last fall.
On October 19, 2014, at approximately 5:55 p.m., the Virginia Tech Police Department received an emergency 911 call from an employee of the West End Market. The callers stated that a fellow employee, a Virginia Tech student, had passed out and assistance was requested.
The communications officer on duty immediately dispatched Cline, who was nearest to West End Market at the time. She arrived in under two minutes and immediately determined that the student was not only unconscious, but also he was not breathing and no pulse could be detected.
Cline immediately began CPR. She used her radio to alert other officers and dispatch that she was beginning CPR, which is proper protocol to convey to other officers responding that this was an emergency situation.
Virginia Tech Rescue was dispatched to the scene and arrived several minutes later. They took over for Cline and transported the patient to a nearby hospital. The student was transferred to a Roanoke hospital that was better equipped to handle the emergency.
“Law enforcement officers train very hard to handle a myriad of emergencies, including life-and-death scenarios,” wrote Virginia Tech Police Chief Kevin Foust in his letter of nomination. “While the training we receive is top-notch, until such time when an officer actually must put that training to the test, one does not really know how one will react.
“In this case, Officer Cline’s calmness, coolness, and professional demeanor in dealing with this medical emergency is not only a testament to the seriousness in which she takes her chosen profession, but also serves as an excellent example to the rest of the department,” added Foust. “It serves as an inspiration to us all.”
Doctors and nurses at the hospital said that had Cline not started CPR immediately, the patient likely would have died. The student recovered and returned to Virginia Tech without any lasting side effects.
“As an experienced officer in these type of situations, I know Officer Cline’s professionalism, poise, and determination with this medical emergency proves her willingness to honor our profession, her oath, and Virginia Tech’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)," wrote Lt. E.T. Montgomery of the Virginia Tech Police Department. “ I am proud to be her supervisor and friend. She is a great asset to the Virginia Tech Police Department and our community.”
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.