The breath of life: Mathis saves the life unexpectedly

Published 6:39 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007

By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Sometimes you wonder just what you would do in an emergency situation, but thankfully there are some who know exactly what to do.
David Mathis is one of the latter. He has no doubts, and he recently proved that he has no hesitation to do what is needed when he saved the life of a woman on the verge of death by giving her artificial respiration. Mathis is one of the Brewton Police Department's newer officers, having been here less than a year.
Mathis was the first one on the scene when a call came in that a woman had stopped breathing.
The patient was transported to the hospital and survived the incident.
Police Chief Monte McGougin brought Mathis before the Brewton City Council at one of their meetings and recognized him for his life-saving efforts.
Mathis is a resident of Pace and commutes to Brewton to work. He said he was looking for a house in this area and thought at one time he had found it, but it didn't work out. In the meantime he will continue to commute and spend as much time with his daughter as he can.
He said that there are funny things that happen, sad things that happen and some things that are just frustrating. The latest just happened last week. A driver evidently did not want to stop and led him on a chase down Alabama Highway 41.
One funny incident happened one night when it was discovered that one of the doors at a local mortuary had been found open.
Mathis grew up in Pensacola and moved to Jay in his senior year of high school. He graduated from Jay High School. He played every kind of sports he could and did &#8220OK,” he said, with his grades.
He comes from a family of three boys, but he has a large extended family living in the Pace and Pensacola area. He worked for Monsanto for a couple of years after graduation, but when he was around 20 he joined the U.S. Army.
He went to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for his basic training. His first active duty was the Panama invasion. After that he was in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the 72nd Airborne Rangers. In fact he served twice in Iraq, in 2003 and 2005. Each time he was there for a year and worked training the Iraqi soldiers. As part of his Ranger training he has done survival training in the desert, the jungle and in the snow and ice. He spent eight years in the military, but finally decided he would rather spend time with his daughter, Samantha (10), than to spend it in the jungle.
He wanted to do something that would utilize his years of training and police work was something he thought he would be interesting. He knew someone who worked in the Brewton Police Department. He's not sure if he will make it a career and he still has all the education credits from his years in the military.

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