Madison Police, paramedics and citizens save man overdosing on heroin

Posted Thursday, October 17, 2013 --- 1:31 p.m.

Madison Police officers are being nominated for MPD life-saving awards after saving a man who was overdosing on heroin Wednesday evening.

Police are also commending the paramedics who responded, the person who called 911 and a citizen out for a walk who spotted the person in the street.

Below is the Madison Police Department's Incident Report:

A 64-year old woman was out for a walk in her Reston Heights neighborhood last evening when she spotted something in the street. She wasn't sure what it was, but thought it looked like a scarecrow, and thought it might have blown down from someone's fall display. She was reluctant to move closer, and did not have to.

At that very moment, she could see a MPD squad car, and she waved it down. Unbeknownst to her, officers were responding to the area after getting information that a suicidal man may have overdosed on heroin. A caller, a friend of the man's, did not know for sure where he was, but thought he was in the area, and in trouble. Officers were scouring the neighborhood with hopes of finding him. So, it was very fortuitous what the woman flagging down the squad car had seen, for it was not a scarecrow, but the despondent man.

When officers got to him, he had no pulse. Working as a team, several traded off performing CCR for next eight to ten minutes. During this time they detected a pulse returning and the man began to regain some consciousness.

Paramedics arrived and delivered two doses of Narcan which revived the young man. In the ambulance, he told an officer that he had ingested two grams of heroin, four times more than he used to use when he was addicted to the drug. He said he had gone through treatment and was clean for two years. But, he said he had been depressed recently, and this day was particularly bad because it was the birthday of a close relative who passed away a short time ago.

Medics indicated efforts of the officers were instrumental in keeping him alive. They will be nominated for departmental life-saving awards. The MPD would like to thank the caller who put officers in position to make contact with the citizen witness, who is also to be commended for directing police to the location of the patient. Without their timely assistance there may not have been a life to save.

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