SINTON – Sinton resident Vicente “V.J.” Ortiz, Jr. was recently honored by the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD). The annual Corpus Christi Police Department awards ceremony was held at CCPD on Thursday, July 24.
Officer Ortiz, a five year veteran of the CCPD, received the Life Saving Ribbon Award, but not for saving your everyday citizen. This award was especially meaningful because the life Ortiz helped save was his father’s life, Vicente Ortiz Sr.
On Jan. 12, 2014, while in Corpus Christi, and in the presence of two of his children, Elizabeth and Officer Ortiz, the elder Ortiz collapsed. Noting that he had no pulse and was not breathing, Officer Ortiz initiated CPR as Elizabeth called 911 for emergency assistance. Officer Ortiz continued CPR until responders from Fire Station No. 8, and medics from Fire Station No. 10 arrived and took over.
Officer Ortiz received a certificate presented by Police Chief Floyd Simpson. The Life Saving Ribbon Award is awarded “for an act which through prompt alert actions, resulted in saving the life of a person who was at imminent risk of death.” Officer Ortiz also received a bar to be pinned on his uniform. The blue and red bars indicate he is a life saving award recipient.
A Sinton native, Officer Ortiz is married to Priscilla Tovar Ortiz, who is employed at Sinton Elementary. The couple have two children, Sabreena, a Sophmore at Sinton High School, and Vicente III, a seventh grader at Smith Middle School.
Ortiz, Sr., also a Sinton native, a former City Council member and a former mayor of Sinton, is doing well since the experience. He and his wife, Joan, have four children, Pauline, Elizabeth and Officer Ortiz, all of Sinton. Their other daughter, Laura Arce, of Laredo, co-authored the letter of nomination for the award, along with her aunt, Marty Garza.
As an added note, Ortiz Sr. met with the paramedics and firefighters who responded to the 911 call. He personally wanted to thank them for their life saving assistance. Ortiz Sr. and his family met the fire fighters of Fire Station No. 8, and after hugs, tears and pictures, they were given a tour of the facility. The Ortiz family provided the crew with a meal from The Roadhouse, consisting of steak, a baked potato and all the fixings, along with German chocolate cake, a large fruit basket and snacks as a simple gesture of gratitude for their heroic services.