On June 23rd, 52-year-old Clyde Loftis went into sudden cardiac arrest at his Beaverton home. With her husband unconscious and not breathing, Cassandra Loftis grabbed the cell phone from his hip pocket and dialed 9-1-1.
Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency (WCCCA) Dispatcher, Monica Hathaway, answered the call while working a police radio. Monica quickly identified the symptoms as a possible cardiac arrest, created a dual police/medical response, and provided lifesaving CPR instructions to Mrs. Loftis.
Minutes later, Washington County Sheriff Corporal Matt Sanders arrived at the Loftis home. Sanders, a former emergency medical technician (EMT) who carries an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) in his patrol vehicle, demonstrated the evolving role that law enforcement is playing in the community by serving both safety and health needs. Sanders successfully delivered the shock that re-started Mr. Loftis' heart.
Shortly thereafter, Lt. Nicolas Zarfas and firefighters from TVF&R Station 64 and Metro West Ambulance arrived to begin advanced medical care. Mr. Loftis was then transported to Providence St. Vincent Medical Center where he underwent heart surgery.
According to WCCCA's data, law enforcement officers from Washington County were dispatched to administer CPR and/or a shock with an AED on 509 cardiac-related 9-1-1 calls in 2012.
"More than ever before, we arrive at the scene of a cardiac call to find a law enforcement officer performing CPR," said TVF&R Lt. Nicolas Zarfas. "These officers take their oath to serve and protect very seriously and recognize that they are a vital link in the first few minutes following a patient's cardiac arrest that can determine their odds of survival."
Clyde and Cassandra Loftis reunited with the dispatcher, corporal, firefighters, paramedics, and medical staff that helped saved his life on Tuesday, September 24. Cassandra Loftis and Corporal Sanders were formally recognized for their lifesaving actions at Tuesday's event.