A 80-year-old man had fainted. It was a call in which two Ramsey police reservists went from helpers to life savers.
Reservists James Bagne and Jennifer Grant were first on the scene Feb. 2 to provide medical assistance to Edward Hamilton.
He was having a heart attack and the pair, who are accustomed to helping the first responders, found themselves the first responders.
As a rule the reservists are there to help the officers at the scene, but the officers on duty were tied up on calls or were too far away, said Ramsey Police Chief Jim Way.
When the reserve officers arrived, Hamiliton’s wife, Lora, was giving him CPR, said Grant.
After assessing that Hamilton did not have a pulse, Bagne and Grant took over CPR from her.
While Grant performed compressions, Bagne set up the AED, which read Hamilton’s heart rhythms and delivered a shock to his heart.
“It was our first cardiac arrest call,” said Bagne, who has been a reservist for eight years.
The pair, along with the rest of the police reservists, had completed a CPR refresher course the week before, Way said.
They worked on Hamilton until Allina personnel and Ramsey Police Officer Nick Dahlberg arrived, Bagne said.
“Bagne and Grant took control of the situation, diagnosed the problem and went too work without hesitation,” Way said.
It is a situation the reservists do not find themselves in often, which is why they were both given distinguished service awards Feb. 12, he said.
While they have been on a lot of medical calls, this is the first time they have had to deliver the aid, Bagne said.
“We did what we were trained to do and did the best we could,” said Grant, who has been a reservist for less than two years.
They were guardedly hopeful when Hamilton left his Riverdale Drive home with his heart beating on its own, she said.
Hamilton died Feb. 8.
Tammy Sakry is at firstname.lastname@example.org