UF Health Jacksonville and TraumaOne honor JSO officer for saving life

Published: February 22, 2017
David Ebler, MD, medical director of TraumaOne at UF Health Jacksonville, presents Jacksonville police officer Terrance Hightower with an award honoring his heroic efforts following a recent shooting incident. Pictured from left to right are John Price, a reserve SWAT. medic and flight nurse with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, UF Health Jacksonville CEO Russ Armistead, Ebler, Hightower, Marie Hightower and TraumaOne outreach coordinator James Montgomery. View Larger Image

TraumaOne and UF Health Jacksonville honored a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office member for his use of a life-saving technique now being taught by trauma personnel and University of Florida surgeons as part of the national Stop the Bleed campaign, which is dedicated to saving lives through the proper use of tourniquets.

Officer Terrance Hightower used a tourniquet to save the life of a shooting victim at the Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk earlier this year. The victim suffered a life-threatening arterial injury requiring emergency surgery. It was through Hightower’s appropriate use of a tourniquet, and the victim’s quick transfer to UF Health Jacksonville, that allowed the patient to not only live but be discharged with full use of his injured extremity.

“It is almost without a doubt, that if it wasn’t for the quick thinking and heroic actions of Officer Hightower, this individual would have died at the scene or while being transported to the hospital,” said David Ebler, MD, a trauma surgeon at UF Health Jacksonville and the first physician to treat the victim at TraumaOne. “On behalf of TraumaOne and UF Health, I want to thank Officer Hightower for recognizing that every second counts, and for his service to this community.”

TraumaOne and UF Health Jacksonville honored Officer Hightower with an award Friday morning in front of family, friends, fellow officers and staff.

“The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office began equipping officers with the tourniquets in 2012. I’m very proud of Officer Hightower for his heroic work last month following this shooting incident,” Sheriff Mike Williams said. “Since putting the tourniquets into use on the streets more than four years ago, as a result of an employee suggestion, we have outfitted all our officers and trained more than 2,000 first responders at JSO and other local law enforcement agencies in their use. I am proud that we have recognized several officers, like Terrance Hightower, for exactly this kind of excellent work during critical incidents.”

“Officer Hightower’s quick thinking is exactly what our campaign is trying to teach public safety officials and average citizens throughout the community,” said Chad McIntyre, manager of TraumaOne Flight Services, who also heads up the Stop the Bleed campaign. “The proper use of a tourniquet could be the difference between life and death. In this situation it was, and we want to pass along our thanks to JSO.”

The Stop the Bleed campaign is a national initiative motivated by the 2012 tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Aurora, Colorado theater, and most recently at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. The Hartford Consensus was established to bring together some of the top minds in law enforcement, the federal government and the medical community to improve survivability from man-made or natural mass casualty events, including active shooter incidents. The injuries resulting from these events typically present with severe bleeding. If left unattended, this type of injury can result in death.

The members of the Hartford Consensus concluded that by providing nonmedical first responders like law enforcement officers and the lay public essential skills and basic tools to stop uncontrolled bleeding, lives will be saved. Civilians need basic training in bleeding control principles so they are able to provide immediate, frontline aid until first responders are able to take over care of an injured person. 

If you, your association or organization would like to host a 50-minute Stop the Bleed training session, please contact TraumaOne Outreach Coordinator James Montgomery at 904-244-8515, or

For more information, please contact:
UF Health Media Relations