Sometimes even the most heartbreaking case can offer lessons for first-responders.
Four Roeland Park Police officers learned that recently when they were honored with a life-saving award for their actions to perform CPR on a baby last month.
The distress call came across the Roeland Park Police dispatch radio during shift change on Feb. 16.
A 10-month-old baby was choking. Dispatchers were helping parents with CPR over the phone.
“Without hesitation four officers — Sgt. Randy Costlow, Sgt. Cory Honas and Office Mark Engravalle and Officer Eric Garcia – ran out of the building and responded to the scene in Roeland Park Police vehicles,” Roeland Park Police Chief John Morris said.
The officers performed CPR on the baby and attempted to comfort the distraught parents. They moved furniture and cleared a path for the EMS crew to reach the critical patient when they arrived.
The child was taken to a local hospital but died several days later.
But it was when a debriefing report was shared among hospital staff, ambulance crew, fire and police departments that the police learned just how valuable their work had been.
“Without the assistance provided by the first responding officers, the infant would not have made it alive to the hospital,” Chief Morris said.
Their work was critical.
“All major organs were able to be donated so the little precious life was able to live on in many ways,” Morris said. And, hospital staff noted, it gave the family time to say goodbye.
It was hardly the end that the four officers wanted. But the debriefing report noted that their work made a difference to the family and the lives of many others.
“It is my extreme honor to award the Roeland Park Police Life-Saving Award to those officers for making a difference to those families in need and giving a grieving family a chance to say goodbye,” Morris said.