Bruce Lamb’s Story of Survival
Bruce with Police dog Gage
Senior Sergeant Bruce Lamb shared his moving experience of surviving being was shot in the face at short range in 2010.  Sadly his loyal Police dog Gage did not survive the event.
In responding to a call, Bruce and Gage went into a property and he decided to check out the rear flat.  “When we looked inside, I spied a lot of drugs stuff everywhere”.
As is common practice he also took along Gage, a very skilled dog, and while one guy was under restraint there was a second one further inside.  “I thought he’d run away but the moment I opened the inside door I spied the silhouette of a firearm and immediately saw it flash” continued Bruce.  
The bullet smashed through his lower jaw and the side of his head.  “As I grabbed my jaw and fell to the floor I thought I was dying” continued Bruce.  The gunman was preparing to shoot again when he released Gage who flew up and over him as another Policeman dragged Bruce out to the driveway.
While he noticed that Gage’s leg was hurt he seemed OK but as he got to the end of the drive he realised he was dragging Gage.  “The dog had bled out in 90 seconds” he explained.
Shots were still being fired so sadly he had to leave his dog on the road.  “We ended up getting over 1,000 cards from well-wishers but only three were for me with most of the rest being for Gage“ smiled Bruce.
Back at the scene, another cop helped him pressure the wound while they waited for an ambulance.  Luckily he made a really good decision to ask a colleague drive him to the hospital as this was significantly faster than waiting for an ambulance. 
Still feeling that he might not survive, Bruce then set an initial goal of staying alive until he saw the hospital.  He was still losing blood so decided that breaking down the trip into small steps made sense as a survival tactic so he started to identify and verbalise the names of the streets they went past on the way.
While starting to drift in and out of consciousness, he realised they had finally got to the hospital. By this stage he had lost approximately 50% of his blood but luckily his approach to using a police car and to identify small steps helped keep him alive.
His wife was called and told to come in and the 1st thing she said was: “What’s he done?” smiled Bruce.  They couldn’t tell her but she had guessed he might have been shot.  By now he was cold and shivering. As they started treatment one of the last things he remembered her saying before he went under was: “How do I access Internet Banking?”
Bruce had seven surgeries in the first 24 hours and over the next while underwent multiple skin grafts as they rebuilt his jaw and face.  Over a lengthy period he eventually recovered and decided that he wanted to return to being a dog handler in the drugs area as he sees meth in particular being a huge cost to all those who take it and society in general.
He ended the session with some slides including one of Gage’s farewell which was very well attended.
Jim thanked Bruce for sharing his amazing survival story and the way he was able to help ensure he survived and eventually returned to active Police duty.