Sheriff's office personnel help save child's life

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PADUCAH, Ky — Quick actions by two members of the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office helped save the life of a young child Thursday afternoon.

According to the sheriff’s office, at about 1:15 p.m., Cpl. Zack Dunigan and Deputy Kenneth Baldwin responded to a residence in the 6000 block of Old Mayfield Road for a call of distress involving a small child. The nature of the call was not immediately known.

Dunigan and Baldwin arrived within minutes of the call being received. Once on scene, they learned that a 11/2-year-old child had been riding with an adult on a zero-turn lawnmower. The child fell from the lawnmower and was struck in the leg by the engaged blades, causing life-threatening injuries.

Dunigan and Baldwin quickly applied a C-A-T (tourniquet) to the child’s leg to control the bleeding, according to the sheriff’s office.

The child was quickly taken to a local hospital by Mercy Regional Ambulance. Due to inclement weather in the area Thursday afternoon, air transport was not available, so the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office escorted the ambulance to the Kentucky-Tennessee state line with the assistance of the Kentucky State Police. Once in Tennessee, the Tennessee Highway Patrol took over the escort until its final destination at a Nashville-area children’s hospital.

“I’m proud of the fast actions by all involved in this incident and by all reported accounts, their quick actions saved this young girls life,” Sheriff Matt Carter said Friday. “Cpl. Dunigan and Deputy Baldwin were truly real-life heroes (Thursday). I ask that the community please keep this child and the family in your thoughts and prayers as they face the days ahead.”

Carter said Friday morning that the last update the sheriff’s office received on the child indicated she was out of surgery and in stable condition.


All members of the sheriff’s office are issued a C-A-T (Combat Application Tourniquet) as well as a belt holster. The equipment is issued for instances just like this.

In 2020, 16 employees of the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office received Life Saving Awards.

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