American Legion awards Pullman police officers at City Council meeting Tuesday

Council approves 3 percent cost of living adjustment for non-representative staff; ambulances cost $692,696



Officer Breauna Banks and Sgt. Todd Dow received the American Legion Humanitarian and Lifesaving Award. 

MELINA ERNST, Evergreen reporter

American Legion Maynard-Price Post 52 presented Lifetime Humanitarian Awards and the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award during a city council meeting Tuesday evening. 

Pullman Police Officer TJ Cornish received the 2020 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. 

Officer Breauna Banks and Sgt. Todd Dow received the American Legion Humanitarian and Lifesaving Award. 

“[The award] may be given to any member of the community who either has performed an act that resulted in the saving of a life or has performed an act that is considered humanitarian in nature,” said Jerry Coker, American Legion Maynard-Price Post 52 Cmdr. 

On March 1, 2020, Banks and Dow responded to a resident not breathing on Military Hill. Banks performed CPR while Dow administered Narcan, which is used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose saving the resident’s life, Coker said.

On Oct. 11, 2020, Dow also administered Narcan to an unconscious male on Pioneer Hill, he said.

Sgt. Aaron Breshears and officers Wade Winegardner, Brian Chamberlin and Nathan Padrta also received the award. On July 1, 2020, they responded to a resident holding a shotgun to his abdomen on Sunnyside Hill, Coker said. 

After Breshears and the other officers assessed the situation and attempted to deescalate, the resident put down the shotgun and allowed them to transport him to the hospital. Their actions saved the resident’s life, he said.

Rick Sucee, American Legion’s Department of Washington Cmdr., presented the officers with the statewide 2021 Humanitarian Award for their exceptional service to their community.

Officers Heidi Lambley, Teayana McNannay, Banks and Kayla Nuxoll also received the award. On May 21, 2020, they saved the life of an unconscious person at a fraternity on College Hill by administering CPR and Narcan, Coker said. 

Cost of living adjustment

Pullman City Councilmembers approved a 3 percent cost of living adjustment for non-represented staff starting the third quarter of 2021 at the meeting. 

The city employs 77 full-time non-represented employees. Unlike bargaining unit staff, non-represented employees “do not have contractually obligated yearly COLAs associated with their employment,” according to a memo presented at the meeting. 

The city’s 2021-2022 biennial budget process did not include a COLA for non-represented staff because of the pandemic’s unknown financial implications, City Administrator Mike Urban said. 

New ambulances

Councilmembers also approved the purchase of two new ambulances in 2022. 

Two of the city’s ambulances are scheduled for replacement in 2022 after being in service for roughly 15 years, said Ryan Lancaster, Pullman maintenance and operations accountant. 

The new vehicles include an upgraded power load system to help lift patients into the ambulance, Lancaster said. The ambulances cost $692,696.

“We have an agreement with WSU in which we anticipate they will fund us 18 percent of the vehicles’ costs,” he said. 

The city’s equipment rental fund will provide approximately $519,072 toward the purchase, with the fire budget providing $44,782, according to the meeting agenda.