Ocala police officers save man who crashed into ditch on I-75 after having heart attack

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.

Caught on Camera- Episode Four

LIFE SAVED ON THE SHOULDER OF I-75: On Tuesday, September 4th, just before 1:00 p.m., Officer Joshua Warner and Trainee Officer Shelby O’Grady responded to a call for help on the southbound shoulder of I-75. The quickest route from their location required that they travel north on the southbound ramp. With lights and sirens on, the team made their way to the scene and began providing CPR and AED care to John, who was experiencing cardiac arrest. Fortunately, caring bystanders pulled over and had already started CPR before our arrival. “I couldn’t have saved him without the help of my trainee and had it not been for the bystanders who started CPR before we arrived, I don’t think what we did would have mattered,” said Officer Warner. “This was a team effort.” Ocala Fire Rescue arrived quickly, continued CPR, and Marion County Fire Rescue transported John to a local hospital. He is now out of surgery and his family is in Ocala, by his side. John’s son-in-law asked that we share the following message. “On behalf of our entire family, we are so thankful for the intervention of everyone involved on the side of I-75 that day. We send a heartfelt thank you. Without their help, our loved one wouldn’t be here today.” Special thanks to Ocala Regional Medical Center and Munroe Regional Medical Center (now Florida Hospital Ocala) for donating AEDs to our department several years ago. OPD officers are equipped to save lives, in part, because of you. #Community #Partnership

Posted by Ocala Police Department on Wednesday, September 5, 2018