July 21, 2016 at 3:24 p.m.
The episodes saw victims pull through, on account of the responding officers’ skills and clear headed performance.
The Lakes Area Police Lifesaving Awards were presented July 13 to: Officers Haller, Quimby, Kolbow, Larson, Tougas (now retired), Merchelwitz, VanHorn and Reservist John Varney.
Sergeant Larson accepted two lifesaving service distinctions. Incidents, in July 2015 and April 2016, involved possible heroin overdose. Lakes Area Chief Kevin Stenson said Chisago Lakes is no different from the rest of the nation, “We are experiencing too many overdoses just like any community is dealing with.”
Larson, Tougas and VanHorn administered care to keep the July 2015 victim alive until EMS arrived and could give a dose of Narcan, an opiate neutralizer or “antidote.”
They performed chest compressions and rescue breathing.
In April 2016, Larson and Varney responded to a call of another opiate-related overdose and found the person unconscious. With support from Varney, Sgt. Larson inserted an airway into the victim, and LAPD Chief Kevin Stenson explained the difficulty of this procedure. EMS arrived and administered Narcan.
The third incident resulting in lifesaving awards and uniform pins-- was a report of a man collapsed in a parking lot in May.
This one was a “group effort,” Chief Stenson said. Officers used the squad car AED, as well as hands-on physical techniques to get the victim to regain consciousness. Haller drove the ambulance as EMS tended to the victim.
The automatic external defibrillator has proven “valuable equipment to have in each car,” Stenson stated.
But, there officers must be well-trained and know what to do. “It is a testament to the officers and their level of training that we are celebrating these lifesaving incidents.”
Stenson said Lakes Area was the first agency in Chisago County to have 100 percent of its squads equipped with AEDs.
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