by Dan McClelland
Police Officers Heather Kennedy and Michael Vaillancourt were honored by the village board last week for helping to save a local man's life.
The presentation came during Chief Eric Proulx's monthly report to the board that evening.
“Tonight we are presenting two Tupper Lake Police Officers with Life Saving Award pins,” begin the chief.
“The awards are presented to any officer who performs an exceptional act under emergency conditions wherein said act results directly in sustaining a human life.”
He said on December 6, 2015 Officers Kennedy and Vaillancourt received a report of a rescue call to a residence on Water Street. The officers responded and were the first to arrive on scene. Upon entering the house, the victim, Randall Rolley, was conscious and spoke with the officers. Officer Kennedy assisted him, took his pulse and asked questions as to where he was experiencing pain.
According to the chief, Officer Kennedy observed Mr. Rolley's condition worsen and asked Office Vaillancourt assist her in getting him to the floor. It was at this point that he became unresponsive and stopped breathing. The officers immediately began life saving measures in the form of two-person CPR and deployment of the department's automated external defibrillator device. The device delivered two shocks to Mr. Rolley and the officers continued the CPR.
“As a result of these measures, he regained consciousness and was able to speak again with the officers and the rescue squad personnel who had arrived on the scene. The victim was alert and speaking when he was placed in the ambulance and taken to the hospital,” said Chief Proulx.
“Officers Kennedy and Vaillancourt acted professionally and used the training they have been given to perform professionally under this emergency condition to save the life of the victim. We strive to continue to train in the area of first aid and CPR and this continued in-service training proved invaluable during this incident. Both of these officers have been involved in similar lifesaving incidents and have performed in the same professional manner that is expected of them not only by the general public but by the chief of police as well.
“Dispatch records show that the officers were on the scene for seven minutes before the rescue squad's EMTs arrive. This is seven minutes that may have made the difference between life and death for this victim. Our police officers are there for a lot more than just arresting people. They do great work in many different areas of our community every day. Unfortunately, we don't get to recognize everybody for the work that they do every day but everyone should be aware our police officers go above and beyond routine police work many times a week. Congratulations to both of you on receiving this award and for being there for all members of the community when the need arises.”
Mayor Paul Maroun added that police officers here performed another rescue at the VFW Post in recent days.
A recovered Randall Rolley also addressed the board and the public that evening.
“Everyone needs to learn CPR; the police won't always be there!” he said emphatically.
He stressed that all adult members of every family should learn it. It's just a case of learning how to properly push on someone' chest.
“I'm happy I got away with just a few cracked ribs!
He said when a person encounters someone in trouble, if they are trained in CPR, they can save their lives.
In other police department business that evening the chief reported that he recently closed out the Gofundme account that generated over $1,600 in support of the department's canine patrol. He thanked all who contributed to the creation of the new patrol here and the training of the dog and Officer Jordan Nason. He also acknowledged a check for $150 from the chamber of commerce as a donation to the department for the work directing traffic by the officers during the Tin Man Triathlon in late June.
Chief Proulx said he also explored the parking situation at the intersection of Main Street and Pine and he has made some parking restrictions for the public to consider at a hearing at 5:30p.m. at the board's next meeting on August 17.
Last month Town Highway Superintendent Bill Dechene alerted the village board to the difficulty of turning some of his department's large vehicles at the intersection when cars are parked close to the intersection.
by Dan McClelland