Essex County News

Montclair State University Officers Save Life of Man in Cardiac Arrest

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Photo Identification (L to R): Officer Jeff Struble, Dispatcher Sylvia Sims and Officer Andrew Burde. Officer Ron DeWitt, also involved in saving the construction worker, is not pictured. Credits: Mike Peters, Montclair State University
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MONTCLAIR, NJ-  When officers on the campus of Montclair State University got a call that a man was in distress, they sprang into action, resulting in saving a life.

"We received a phone call from a Partridge hall school of nursing at the University that a 60 year old man was in cardiac arrest and not breathing," Captain Kieran Barrett of Montclair State University said. 

We sent officers Andrew Burde, Ron Dewitt, and Jeff Struble to the scene and an ambulance was called.

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With 30 members in his department, Barrett says that officers are trained to act quickly in critical moments.

At 8:33 a.m. on November 21, a 60-year-old construction worker was suffering a heart attack. When officers arrived, he was lying on the floor of the fourth floor, unresponsive without a pulse. 

"Every moment was critical. It was a team effort," Barrett said, crediting the efforts of the three officers and the dispatcher Sylvia Sims.

Officers had to climb the stairs to access the fourth floor of Partridge Hall, since it is currently under construction and has no elevator. The man, whose identity has not been released, was a roofer working on the construction site.

The officers began rescue breaths while the AED unit was being prepared. When they applied the defibrillator, Barrett said that the man responded. Officers finding a weak pulse, began rescue breaths again and compressions until his pulse and breathing came back strong and Paramedics arrived.

AED units are issued to each patrol car and located throughout campus, according to Barrett. However, since Partridge Hall was under construction, officers brought along the equipment when responding to the call. 

Barrett added that it is not often that officers must respond to a cardiac arrest call. However, he said, "When they get the call, they are ready."

The man was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson.

Barrett credited his officers' training and commitment to remain calm in the face of an emergency as key factors of this successful lifesaving effort. He concluded, "Our officers officers are trained and in this case, every second counted. It was a team effort. It was a job well done, when they can save a life because they are trained and they are ready."

The department plans to reward the officers and dispatcher with a life saver award at a ceremony in January.

 

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