Helmer’s quick response revives woman
HERITAGE LAKE -- Thanks to the timely efforts of a Putnam County sheriff’s deputy, a woman’s life was saved following a life-threatening event Sunday morning.
At 10:19 a.m., emergency personnel received a call for an unconscious person suffering a cardiac event in the Lincoln Hills area of Heritage Lake. The individual was said to not be breathing, and also did not have a pulse.
Luckily, Deputy Brian Helmer was on patrol near Heritage Lake at the time, and was en route at 10:21. Helmer was on the scene at 10:25, meaning that he was there a mere four minutes after Putnam County Dispatch received the 911 call.
While the woman’s family had already begun CPR, Helmer used his emergency training to do more to resuscitate her. He used his AED (automated external defibrillator) and administered three shocks total, with the patient recorded as regaining a pulse at 10:37. Helmer continued to perform CPR during this time.
The Floyd Township Volunteer Fire Department and Operation Life then arrived on the scene to assist the patient, and she was en route to Hendricks Regional Health in Danville at 11:06 a.m. She was then transported to IU Health West Hospital in Avon to reportedly undergo a cardiac catheterization.
Though her pulse was restored and she was also reported to have regained consciousness before the procedure, the woman’s exact condition as of Monday afternoon is unknown.
While Helmer’s quick action certainly made the difference, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department also stresses the importance of always carrying the right equipment for such a scenario.
“Law enforcement officers carry a lot of equipment in their patrol cars and must be ready for any situation,” the department wrote on a Facebook post describing the event. “Quick thinking, confidence and a relentless attitude are required in this profession.”
Putnam County Sheriff Scott Stockton related to the Banner Graphic that the department’s defibrillators were purchased brand-new two year ago. These AEDs are also the ones which the Indiana State Police uses, and are notable for being able to audibly provide instructions on how to use them.
Stockton also gave credit to Deputy Jeff Freeman, who is a certified EMT and coordinates both AED and taser training, as well as first-response certifications, for the sheriff’s department.
For his part, Helmer told the Banner Graphic that having equipment on hand like the AED is especially important, as police are often the first to arrive on the scene of an incident before other first responders.
“I’m glad that the family was there to help her give CPR,” Helmer said. “I just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and I’m thankful it all worked out.”
In recognition for his life-saving efforts, Stockton said that he will award Helmer a life-saving pin in the near future. The last time this pin was awarded was to then-Capt. Danny Wallace, credited with saving a person who attempted to commit suicide in April of 2016.
“I’m very proud of Deputy Helmer for his efforts,” Stockton added. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” referring to his being the son of beloved longtime officer Tom Helmer. Still, Stockton also acknowledged that it was a team effort.
“I’m proud of all of us who go out every day and do what we do to serve the public,” he concluded.