Renton council roundup: Disability Pride Month, Life Saving Medals

“I am just so thankful that the city of Renton is taking the initiative on this to drive awareness for Disability Pride Month.”

Renton Mayor Armondo Pavone opened the July 1 Renton City Council meeting with a Disability Pride Month Proclamation.

Kristina Brown, Director of Public Affairs at Kindering, and parent Rome Johnson from Kindering received the award. According to Kindering’s mission statement, Kindering embraces children of diverse abilities and their families by providing the finest education and therapies to nurture hope, courage, and the skills to soar.

“We serve thousands of children with disabilities and developmental delays each year with pediatric therapies, family support services, family support, and many other programs and services. The reason we are so passionate about Disability Pride Month is because our mission includes not just those direct services, but also engaging on a systemic level to promote inclusion for people with disabilities,” Brown said.

Brown said they engage in policy issues by advocating for policy issues at different levels of government, and she said Kindering advocates for social change. Brown said she sees the Disability Pride Month Proclamation acting as a policy change and advocating for social change. Through the proclamation, she said she sees that the city is committed to inclusion for people of all abilities.

Johnson shared that he’s a father to two children, one being his 15-month-old son and the other being his daughter, who has physical and developmental disabilities. He said he also has a non-visible disability.

“As you can imagine, this life and this journey is not easy. Parenting it is also not easy. I am just so thankful that the city of Renton is taking the initiative on this to drive awareness for Disability Pride Month. I was born in Renton, family still lives here. I have a lot of love for Renton, and it really takes something like this to help a community that feels isolated, that feels gaslit, that has to face ableism, especially speaking for myself, who appears able-bodied. It’s just tough because we’re judged on the same measure as those without disabilities,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he was there to shout out all the people in the disability community who continue to fight and do good work:

“All of us have superpowers. Some of our superpowers are unleashed from someone from an act of kindness, an act of empowerment. Some of us, our disabilities are our superpowers, and so I’m just thrilled that we’re able to shed light to all those doing great work, not only in this city, [but] in this state, in this country, in this world because quite frankly we deserve it.”

Renton Police Department recognition

At the July 1 council meeting, Renton Police Chief Jon Schuldt awarded three officers with the “Life Saving Medal,” another four officers were promoted, and one officer was awarded Officer of the Year.

The Life Saving Medals were awarded to one individual who assisted a person who began undergoing cardiac arrest in the middle of a basketball game. The second pair of medals went to two individuals who were aided in saving the lives of two people who had gotten shot during the same situation.

The first officer to receive his medal was Officer Cody Littleton, who reported to a workout facility where a subject had collapsed while playing basketball. Schuldt said the subject did not have a pulse, nor was he breathing. Schuldt said Littleton understood the critical nature of the call and the need for rapid intervention to preserve. Schuldt said Littleton responded and administered CPR while directing bystanders to get an AED and instructed use while continuing CPR. Schuldt said the AED was effective, and the patient was awake and talking before emergency aid arrived.

Following Littleton’s acknowledgment, Officers Jacob Weber and Noah Girello were recognized for their joint response to a shooting victim and awarded a Life Saving Medal.

“On Feb. 27, 2024, Officers Girello and Weber, along with a large contingent of RPD officers, responded to the area of the Cedar River dog park where it had been reported that a shooting had occurred with two gunshot victims at that location. Officers Girello and Weber located a victim near the river that was having difficulty breathing. The victim did not show any initial signs of injury. The suspect was still at large … they conducted a secondary, more intrusive check for injuries, at which time they located a small caliber entry wound under the victim’s armpit. They provided immediate trauma care at the scene, sealing the wound. They then carried the victim from the encampment along the riverbank through dense foliage to a location where he could be evacuated and receive advanced medical treatment,” the chief said.

Schuldt said the victim suffered a collapsed lung, spinal cord injuries and a damaged aorta due to the gunshot wound, and according to attending medical professionals, if it weren’t for the officers’ actions, the outcome would have been different.

Following that, Denis Moynihan was promoted to sergeant, Jacob Thielman was promoted to sergeant, Jeanna Christiansen was promoted to sergeant, and Susan Hassinger was promoted to commander. Officer Rylee Phillips was awarded 2023 Officer of the Year.

In other council action

During the unfinished business portion of the meeting, the council concurred in a Memorandum of Agreement with King County for a Reclaimed Water Feasibility Study. This study will examine how Renton could recycle water, creating “reclaimed water.”

Honored officers, promoted officers, the officer of year and others posing for a photo at the Renton City Council meeting. Courtesy photo

Honored officers, promoted officers, the officer of year and others posing for a photo at the Renton City Council meeting. Courtesy photo