OCALA, Fla. — Two Ocala police officers used their training and a department-issued automated external defibrillator, or AED, to save the life of a man who crashed into a ditch on Interstate 75 after having a heart attack.
Hospitals donated the AEDs to the Ocala Police Department three years ago, but this was the first time an officer had to use one.
"We didn't know much information about it, just that the fire department-EMS requested our assistance," Ocala police Officer Joshua Warner said. "Usually, we can get to scenes a lot sooner than they can."
The man's wife was following behind him in another vehicle and watched her husband crash. She stopped, as did other drivers.
"Luckily, there were some bystanders and citizens that saw the gentleman on (the) side of the road, and they were doing CPR before I got there," Warner said.
The man wasn't breathing normally, and his pulse was faint, so the officers attached the AED and followed its instructions.
Ocala police Officer Shelby O'Grady, who had been hired less than two weeks earlier, said she was focused on saving the man.
"I need to listen. Traffic was heavy," she said. "There was other sirens coming, and I just need to pay attention and stay focused and do the best I could do."
The device shocked the man's heart, and emergency medical services crews took him to a hospital shortly thereafter. He is expected to survive.
O'Grady said the satisfaction of knowing she helped someone reinforced her decision to pursue a career in law enforcement.
The man's relatives released a statement thanking the good Samaritans and the police officers and crediting them with the man's survival.
Cox Media Group