BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Bradenton Police Officer Jessica Sirignano has always wanted a career in law enforcement. She says she’s admired police work since she was a child. Less than two years into her career, she’s received a special honor for going above and beyond her call of duty.
Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan presented the officer with the agency’s Life-Saving Award Wednesday morning.
“We are happy that our office was in the right place at the right time and had the courage, and the training, and the ability, and the resilience to do what she needed to do to save your life,” said Chief Bevan as she looked at the surviving crash victim.
It was the early morning hours of Jan. 29 when the 27-year-old officer was on her way home from work. She came across a horrific crash involving a motorcycle. First responders hadn’t arrived on scene yet, so she pulled over to help the husband and wife who were critically injured.
Officer Sirignano noticed the female victim lost part of her leg and was unconscious. She applied a tourniquet to slow the bleeding and performed CPR until the woman regained consciousness. Then, the young officer turned to the woman’s husband. She used his belt as a makeshift tourniquet and rendered CPR until Manatee County EMS arrived on the scene shortly after.
“I was scared, but with my training, I just went into auto-pilot mode. When it was all said and done, I didn’t even believe what just happened,” said Officer Sirignano.
The male victim passed away at the hospital. There’s a cross in memory of Joe Stroup along the side of U.S. 41 where the crash happened. Stroup’s wife, Martha, survived her injuries. She and her family believe Officer Sirignano is the reason why she’s still alive.
“Without her, I wouldn’t have a mother and I already lost a father, so it is nice to still have a mother with me,” said the Stroup’s son Ryan. “Without Jessica, she wouldn’t be on this earth and I am extremely grateful and my whole family is extremely grateful for having her,” he continued.
The officer has formed a special bond with the family in the months since the crash.
“I lost my husband, they lost their dad, but we gained a daughter and a sister and that is what I see her like, as a daughter to me,” said Martha Stroup.
“On behalf of my dad who is a retired law-enforcement officer as well, thank you, Jessica,” said T.J. Stroup. “I know he is watching. Thank you to all law-enforcement past, present, future, and those that keep us safe,” he continued.