UOPD honors lifesavers at campus pinning ceremony

UOPD officers Anthony Button (left) and John Loos

A University of Oregon international student is alive today and slowly recovering from cardiac arrest, thanks to fast action and teamwork by several UO Police Department employees, two other UO students, staff at the Knight Library and medics from Eugene-Springfield Fire.

The two police officers, two students and library employee will receive Life Saving Awards from the UOPD and “Heart Saver” Hero Awards from the American Heart Association at a special ceremony Saturday, Feb. 18, at 4 p.m. at the Giustina Ballroom in the Ford Alumni Center.

“There is no greater honor and no greater gift than saving the life of another,” UOPD Chief Matt Carmichael said. “This ceremony is very special as we will present the prestigious Life Saving Award to our officers, a UO student and UO staff member for saving the life of a UO student.”

On the evening of Dec. 2, 2016, a student studying on the library’s third floor collapsed suddenly. Student Maisie Bailey found the fallend student, called 911 and started CPR with instructions from a dispatcher. Student Marla Waters then assisted and took over CPR while Kate Smith, a billing coordinator with the Knight Libraries, brought an automated external defibrillator from the first floor.

Meanwhile, UOPD dispatchers Michael Drake, Chris Blake and Donna Shults, monitoring emergency radio traffic, heard the call from 911 go out to Eugene-Springfield Fire. Dispatchers immediately sent UO police officers John Loos and Anthony Button, who could reach the library much quicker than the medics.

In less than two minutes, the officers arrived and took over CPR as Smith used the defibrillator. UOPD technical services manager Clark Hansen then saved more time by directing Eugene-Springfield Fire to the fastest route to the library.

After several minutes of CPR and cardiac aid, medics transported the man to the hospital, where he eventually stabilized and began a slow recovery to health. Sgt. Don Morris coordinated UOPD activities that evening and quickly notified Division of Student Life staff, who could provide support and connect with the ailing student’s family abroad.

Saturday’s event also serves as the formal badge-pinning ceremony for Carmichael and newly commissioned police officers Geri Brooks, Andy Johnson and Chris Waggoner, and recognition of the promotion of new captains Alice Cary and Jason Wade.

President Michael Schill, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt and Associate Vice President for Safety and Risk Services Andre Le Duc will attend and speak at the ceremony, which will also feature bagpipers, a police and fire custom.

“This is a law enforcement tradition where our community has the opportunity to welcome its newest police officers and celebrate promotions and achievements,” Carmichael said. “This is an important event for our officers, as their loved ones will pin their badges signifying their commitment to our community.”