Two Men Rescued in a Two-Month Time Span
While Parker police officers consider saving lives a part of their job, those types of emergency calls don’t happen that often.
But between Aug. 21 and Oct 24, two men were lucky to have Parker officers, trained in CPR and the use of Automated External Defibrillators, come to their rescue.
The first call occurred on Aug. 21, just after Sgt. Joe Cummings had finished lunch with his wife, Melissa, and gone back on duty. According to police, Daniel Tischhauser was driving southbound near Jordan Road and Centre Court when he struck the rear of another vehicle.
When Cummings arrived, he pulled the victim out of the vehicle and began administering CPR. It was the fifth time Cummings was credited with saving a life in his 19 years as a Parker police officer.
For the self-described adrenaline junky, who has also been a member of the Douglas County SWAT team, all five incidents were just part of the job.
“It’s a part of what cops do. I’m no different than anybody else,” he says, explaining that the other four life-saving incidents involved two people who were trying to commit suicide by hanging, one person in a motorcycle accident with a severely compromised airway and another CPR rescue.
“You just do your job,” he says. “Everybody that works here knows it’s part of the job, and you just do what has to be done.”
Josh Hans, the department’s public relations coordinator, says five saves in one career is an unusually high number and that Cummings is a “tremendous asset to us and Parker.”
Tischhauser was able to express his gratitude when the two were reunited a week after the accident. After spending five days in Parker Adventist, including three in ICU, Tischhauser told the officer: “You saved my life, but I never saw your face until today.”
Tischhauser and Cummings also credit personnel from South Metro Fire Rescue and Parker Adventist Hospital for the successful outcome.
“We’re just a link in a chain,” Cummings says. “The South Metro paramedics in this town are phenomenal. If it wasn’t for them, the chain would be broken. Typically, we take them to Parker Adventist because it’s our closest hospital. That staff is second to none.”
About two months later, on Oct. 24, Sgt. Nate Schivinski, Officer Trey Biles and Officer Darcy Hier were dispatched to a medical emergency near Parker Road and Mainstreet, where they experienced their first life-saving event.
Upon arrival, Schivinski and Biles stepped in and began administering CPR to a man on the ground, while Hier went to get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from her patrol car.
The AED can analyze a situation and determine if it is needed. The first two AED analyses advised against shocking the man, so Schivinski and Biles continued with chest compressions and breaths.
When Hier placed the AED on the victim’s chest a third time, it advised that a shock was necessary, and a shock was successfully administered. South Metro Paramedics had to shock the man a second time when they transported him to Parker Adventist Hospital.
The 83-year-old, who had suffered a heart attack, has since recovered and returned home to Tennessee.
Cummings, who sits on the Board of the South Metro Safety Foundation, volunteers as a deputy commander for a Civil Air Patrol squadron and is a Search & Rescue pilot, is a strong advocate for CPR training and the wide-spread availability of AEDs.
“Everybody needs to know CPR,” he says. “I’m just a firm believer that everybody needs to know it. And that you should have AEDs available everywhere.”
According to Hans, every Parker officer on the street is equipped with an AED. Since January of 2014, the life-saving equipment has been used 12 times, including on four occasions when the actions of the officers and the AEDs have been credited with saving a life.