Officer in the right place at the right time saves man’s life

Posted On Tuesday October 29, 2019
Officers carry defibrillators in their police cars
Officers carry defibrillators in their police cars

Cst. Chris Powers, a 3-year veteran of the Ottawa Police Service, was stopped in a line of traffic at the intersection of Montreal Road and the Aviation Parkway on October 25th at about 2:40 p.m. when another motorist flagged him about a male possibly asleep in his vehicle in a live lane of traffic.

 The officer pulled over to check on the man, who was a few cars behind him. He found him slumped over in the driver’s seat. He was unresponsive and when Cst. Powers checked for a pulse, he didn’t find one, although the man’s eyes were open and he was occasionally gasping for air.

“His foot was still on the brake and the vehicle was in drive, so I put the car in park and pulled the man from the vehicle,” said Cst. Powers.

The officer knew he needed to start CPR immediately. “A bystander offered to help, so I had her grab the defibrillator from my car, while I started chest compressions,” said Cst. Powers.  

Multiple 911 calls were received at the same time as Cst. Powers called the OPS Communications Centre to dispatch Ottawa Paramedics. He delivered a shock with the defibrillator while he waited for help to arrive. He had just shocked him a second time when Cst. Dominic Paykarimah arrived on scene. Together, the two of them continued CPR.

The two officers performed compressions in the ambulance so the paramedics could administer oxygen and medication. By the time they got him to the hospital, just a block away, the patient had regained a pulse.

“The paramedics said the man must have just had the heart attack and the gasps for air were the body’s final attempt to stay alive,” said Cst. Powers. “I’m glad I was there to provide the help he needed.”

This is the second time both officers have used the defibrillator/CPR together. The first time was in the fall of 2018 on a man in his 50’s, who also survived.  

“I’d like to say thanks to the bystander who got the defibrillator,” said Cst. Powers. “If I’d gone to get it myself, it would have been too late.”

The man in his 70’s is recovering in hospital.