As far as “life saving” events go, it was fairly quick and simple, seemingly routine. Officer Tony Rumph (pictured with me below) was enjoying a break at the station when one of our clerks, Grace Rosa, staggered into the room. Tony immediately recognized that she was in distress. She had a hand around her throat and she was pointing at her mouth.
Without hesitation, Tony quickly positioned himself to perform the Heimlich maneuver and administered several abdominal thrusts. An obstruction was dislodged from Grace’s throat and she started breathing on her own.
Tony received the Boca Raton Police Services Department’s Life Saving Award last Wednesday. He didn’t pull a passenger from a burning car or carry a wounded victim to safety through a hail of bullets. However, if Tony didn't apply his skills, Grace might not be here with us today.
As police officers, we recognize that we may need to apply our training at any time, even to save the lives of friends, loved ones or co-workers. How would you respond in a similar circumstance? If someone is choking or suffers a heart attack, are you prepared to respond effectively?
As you can see from Tony’s experience, it’s not always complicated. CPR is a relatively easy technique to learn, and the return on the investment of a little bit of time and effort could be, well, life changing.
Visit the American Heart Association web site to locate a CPR class near you. Don’t find yourself wishing you had known how to save a life.