(WSVN) – Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Many times, they also wear a badge. Karen Hensel shines the 7 Spotlight on a Miramar Police officer who is using his unique skills to help save lives.
Another night, another emergency in Miramar.
Officer Damian Castellanos, Miramar Police Department: “Someone open this up.”
Miramar Police Officer Damian Castellanos is often one of the first on the scene.
Officer Damian Castellanos: “I’m just going to wrap his head.”
Officer Damian Castellanos: “In triage medicine, where people are hurt and they need emergency care, every second counts.”
Damian honed his skills as a medic for the Navy and Marine Corps.
Later, he trained as a firefighter but soon realized he wanted to make a change.
Officer Damian Castellanos: “Firefighters, more often than not, because of the profession that they’re in, have to wait for police officers to make a scene safe, and I realized, with my triaging skills, I was better suited to being the first guy on scene.”
Being the first to reach those who need help has made a difference. From gunshot wounds to car accidents, Officer Castellanos has used his medical skills on more than 20 different emergency calls, sometimes treating several victims at each place.
Officer Damian Castellanos: “Stay with me, all right?”
Almost all have survived, including a man who fell out of his car and was run over.
Officer Damian Castellanos: “Sir, stay still for me, all right? All right, just stay still. I’ve got to check your chest.”
And another man who was shot seven times.
Officer Damian Castellanos: “How you feeling, bro?”
Miramar Police officer: “OK, go ahead and lift up your head.”
Officer Damian Castellanos: “You good?”
Maj. Jose Sanchez, Miramar Police Department: “It’s not normal to have these many occasions where somebody is going to save so many lives. He’s an exception. He’s an exceptional officer.”
Exceptional, especially in dangerous situations.
Miramar Police officer: “Stand back, stand back, stand back. Ma’am, stand back.”
Last March, a man was shot in the head, chest and hip outside a Miramar lounge.
Officer Damian Castellanos: “When I get on scene, I like to think that I’m the calmest one there.”
Officer Damian Castellanos: “Stay with me, stay with me.”
He and fellow officers do what they can in the chaos. This night, the man survived.
Officer Damian Castellanos: “I tell them, ‘Hey, we got this. We’ve trained for this,’ and that’s probably the hardest thing to do on scene.”
These are the hard cases but some are happier. This little one was in such a hurry to be born, her mom had her at home.
Livensca Pierre-Louis, mother: “All of a sudden, I saw him put on his glove, and I looked down, and he had the baby.”
Baby Liviana was born April 16, just moments after Damian walked though the door.
Officer Damian Castellanos (holding baby): “Yeah, you don’t remember me, but I definitely remember you.”
Officer Damian Castellanos: “It hit me, it really hit me. I was like, ‘I delivered a baby today.’ That’s pretty cool.”
For his service, Damian was named Miramar’s Officer of the Year in 2021. He also received the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council Valor Award, the same year.
But, he says, the best part of his day is working with his fellow officers.
Officer Damian Castellanos: “While I might stand out for the accomplishments that I do, there’s great men and women that show up every day. They put up with a lot. I get a little emotional about it because we go through a lot. Just know that there’s heroes out there besides me.”
Heroes, ready to help when people need them the most.
Karen Hensel, 7News.
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