The call came near the end of his late-night shift.
Someone was having a seizure in the 6400 block of Carter Street. Merriam Police Officer Beau Soucie was the closest first responder, and the Med-Act ambulance was stuck behind a train passing through town.
When he rushed to the scene, he found a man in his 30s lying on the ground; another man was already performing chest compressions. Soucie’s training at the Merriam Police Academy kicked in. He noticed the man had agonal breathing but no pulse. It appeared he could be close to death if Soucie didn’t act fast.
“I didn’t think he was having a seizure, but a heart attack,” Soucie said.
He initiated a couple of chest compressions for a minute or two before the fire department staff arrived, hooked up an AED, and administered a couple of shocks. A minute later, the paramedics arrived and took over.
Soucie said they managed to regain his pulse; and at the hospital, hospital staff determined that the 31-year-old man had had a heart attack caused by a clogged artery. The man has since recovered.
The incident in mid-March was a proud moment for the Merriam police officer, who has been on the force for a little more than two years. But he looks at it as simply doing his job.
“I’ve done chest compressions numerous times before, but every other time, the individual’s regained a pulse but later died at the hospital or they just never regained a pulse,” he said. “It was nice to do it for a change and the person ended up living, that’s for sure.”
The Merriam Police Department on Monday honored Soucie with a Life Saving Award for his heroic deed.
“I’m grateful that I’m getting it, but the thing I keep telling people is that the Med-Act and fire department are the people who really I’d say where all the credit was due,” Soucie said. “But they keep telling me that it’s still a big deal because I was a part of it, so I’ll take what I can get.”
Police Captain Todd Allen, who is acting police chief, presented Soucie with the award.
“Because of the efforts of Officer Soucie and the fire department and paramedics, that man’s alive here today,” Allen said.