West Melbourne Police Hail Indiana Nurse For Heroism

By  //  April 9, 2013

BREVARD COUNTY • WEST MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Leisa Arter doesn’t consider herself a hero, but to West Melbourne Police Chief Richard T. Wiley, she’s a genuine life saver.

Leisa Arter of Fort Wayne, Ind. was presented a Civilian Life Saving Commendation by West Melbourne Police after she helped save a man’s life who had been stabbed multiple times. (Image by Ed Pierce)

Wiley presented Arter, a Licensed Practical Nurse from Fort Wayne Ind., a Civilian Life Saving Commendation via Skype on Tuesday for her role in saving a man who was stabbed in West Melbourne in January.

At about 4 p.m. on Jan. 11, Arter was visiting family in West Melbourne and about to take a walk in when she heard cries for help.

An armed disturbance had taken place between two men on Vandiver Way at the intersection of Wingate Blvd in West Melbourne.

One man had pulled out a folding pocket knife and stabbed the other in the incident.

Wiley said numerous witnesses came upon the scene, but only Arter stepped up to0 ereender assistance.

Arter, who has been an LPN for 33 years, recognized that the victim had a severed artery and immediately began administering first aid. She obtained a belt from a bystander and used it as a a makeshift tourniquet.

West Melbourne Police Chief Richard T. Wiley speaks to Leisa Arter of Fort Wayne, Ind. via Skype during a long-distance Civilian Life Saving Commendation presentation on Tuesday. (Image by Ed Pierce)

Once the victim was stabilized, she ran to a nearby residence for a towel and latex gloves.’

By the time West Melbourne police officers, including Chief Wiley, arrived at the scene, Arter continued providing care to the victim, which gave the officers time to find the other man involved in the incident.

Arter stayed at the scene, providing comfort and applying pressure until paramedics arrived.

“Her efforts and concern for a complete stranger goes above and beyond what most people would do,” Wiley said. “She exemplifies a true life saver.”

Wiley praised Arter for her willingness to help and for her ability to treat the victim.

“This doesn’t happen very often,“  he said. “I was on scene that day and saw what you were doing first-hand.  I honestly believe she saved his life. The blood wasn’t stopping. It couldn’t have been a better outcome for us. It was a serious injury and a lot of blood loss“

Arter works for Parkview Health in Indiana and said via Skype she was just doing what she was trained to do.

“Helping others is what we stand for,” Arter said. “People need to educate themselves how to help somebody.”

She said her family and friends were amazed that she saved a life while on vacation in Florida.

“They were pretty proud,” she said

Wiley said the victim spent more than a week in the hospital, but has since recovered.

The State Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the man who pulled the knife, citing self-defense.