Editor's Note: The following is a release from the City of Maryland Heights.
Maryland Heights Police Officers Jim Vinyard and Tom Venegoni were recently honored with the Bronze Star of Life award from the Maryland Heights Fire Protection District for their roles in saving two citizens’ lives earlier this year.
On May 2, Officer Vinyard responded to a 911 call for a cardiac/respiratory arrest at a Maryland Heights residence. When he arrived on the scene, he found Catherine Adams unconscious and unresponsive. She was not breathing and had no pulse. Her family told Vinyard she had collapsed after being struck by a large piece of hail.
Vinyard treated the woman with the portable Automated External Defibrillator (AED) stored in all Maryland Heights police cars and then began administering CPR.
When firefighters and paramedics arrived, they built on Vinyard’s lifesaving actions and began intravenous access, cardiac medications and advanced airway management. While en route to the hospital, paramedics were able to restore Adams’ pulse, breathing and blood pressure. She later made a full recovery at DePaul Hospital.
On June 2, emergency dispatchers took a 911 report of a cardiac/respiratory arrest in a vehicle on I-270.
Officer Venegoni was the first responder to arrive at the scene, where he found Roy Oakes slumped over the steering wheel, not breathing and with no pulse. Venegoni used the AED to administer shocks to Oakes and then began CPR.
Paramedics and firefighters that arrived on the scene moments later continued these efforts and began advanced cardiac life support. Adams regained normal breathing, blood pressure and pulse while en route to DePaul Hospital, where he later made a full recovery.
A statement by the Maryland Heights Fire Protection District Board of Directors praised the officers for their “quick and confident actions” that “significantly impacted the chances of Adams’ and Oakes’ survival and ultimately their overall recovery.
According to the American Heart Association, the officers began the first vital links in the ‘chain of survival,’ which starts with early defibrillation and CPR.”