PAD Program thanks RCMP for saving man's life

December 21, 2017

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PAD Program thanks RCMP for saving man's life

From left: Amber Gorman, Sgt. Ryan Case, Cst. Scott Hoffart and Cpl. Derek Friesen. Photo: Communications

Sometimes the universe is looking out for you.

That must be what an Indian Head man is thinking after a brush with death this fall.

The man, who suffered a heart attack, was discovered unresponsive by a family member. She called 911, initiating series of life-saving actions by a number of people that brought a seemingly dead man back to life.

RCMP officers Sgt. Ryan Case, Cpl. Derek Friesen and Const. Scott Hoffart played a key role in saving his life. They were honoured for their actions at the South District Awards Ceremony on Dec. 13 held at RCMP Depot. The ceremony is organized by the South District and pays tribute to men and women who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“The officers decided to transport him to the hospital,” said Amber Gorman, co-ordinator of Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Program for Regina and area. She presented the officers with certificates and pins at the event. “Without their action and quick thinking, this man would not have survived.”

The officers were the second on the scene, following an employee of a local school who brought the facility’s automated external defibrillator (AEDs).
AEDs are life-saving portable machines that deliver an electric shock through the chest to the heart to stop an irregular heart beat and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest. The school received the alert from 911 dispatch when the emergency call was issued. 911 calls activate a signal to all registered AED users. If someone with an AED can respond before paramedics, the person in medical need will have a better chance of survival.

The school employee used the AED but could not revive the man. When the officers arrived, the situation looked grim. Knowing that the ambulance was still valuable minutes away, they took matters into their own hands.

“I backed the truck up, threw the tail gate down and we grabbed some blankets and him; our adrenaline was pumping,” said Case. “We were so focused on just being fast. I’m driving and the other guys were doing compressions on him in the back.”

Gorman said that just because the AED’s shocks did not revive the man initially did not mean it wasn’t working.

“An AED is supposed to reset the heart so you may not see someone awaken suddenly like you do in the movies. Successful defibrillation changes the chaotic rhythm of the heart but they may not regain consciousness.”

Gorman said the AED and the man’s quick transportation to Indian Head’s hospital, which was close by, were all key factors in saving his life.

“When we got him to the hospital and (the doctor) said he was coming around I couldn’t believe it. It was amazing,” said Sgt. Case.

Upon reflecting on the events of that fateful day, Case said it was the most rewarding of his career.

It certainly paid off for the Indian Head man, who Gorman spoke to a couple of days after the incident.

“He had nothing but praise for everyone who responded. He was walking, talking and he has no deficits because of their actions.”

The PAD program directs individuals, schools and organizations on how to purchase AEDs. It also provides education and registers the devices on a public network. For details about the program and information on where to purchase an AED, email or call 306-766-6265.


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