COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Public Safety named Senior Trooper William A. McInville of Florence the South Carolina Highway Patrol Troop Five Trooper of the Year at a ceremony today. McInville was chosen from winners from 10 Troops or Units within the Highway Patrol.
“Today was a great day at the SC Department of Public Safety and a great day for the State of South Carolina when we said thank you to our heroes,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “This outstanding group of troopers represent the best of the best, displaying courage and valor under extraordinary circumstances. I believe everyone would agree, however, that S/Tpr. McInville's act of saving a child's life truly made him deserving of the top honor today.”
S/Tpr. McInville joined the Highway Patrol in January 2010 and is assigned to Dillon, Florence and Marion counties.
On June 3, 2012, S/Tpr. McInville conducted a traffic stop after a vehicle disregarded a stop light on U.S. 52 North at Cashua Drive, nearly causing a collision. The female driver exited the vehicle with a 2-year-old child who was not breathing. The mother of the child was calling for help and placed the child in McInville's care. After calling for an ambulance, S/Tpr. McInville began to perform CPR on the child. After several abdominal thrusts, the child spit out a piece of candy, which had caused him to choke.
“When the mother ran from the vehicle, Trooper McInville had no idea what had happened,” said Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver. “He calmly assessed the situation, repeatedly warned the parents to be careful of the traffic around them and was able to resuscitate this child. Troopers never know what to expect on their shift, but Trooper McInville drew on his training and his experience working with the rescue squad in a past job to save a life. This act is not the exception for Trooper McInville but highlights his overall work ethic and compassion for others.”
The child was taken to a local hospital and was released the following day. A physician from the hospital later called S/Tpr. McInville to commend him for his heroic assistance. The physician also stated that — in his opinion — the child would not have survived or would have at least suffered brain damage considering the time it would have taken to get to the hospital.
Before joining the Highway Patrol, McInville worked at the Florence Police Department, the City of Florence Fire Department and the Timmonsville Rescue Squad. He is married and has one child.