Two officers honored for lifesaving measures

By Brandi Makuski

Two Stevens Point police officers have been honored for helping save a local woman’s life.

Corp. Michael Long, 38, and 22-year-old Ofc. Joseph Clark, have both received the department’s Lifesaving Award for their actions on Oct. 3, when the two were first on the scene of a medical emergency.

The officers responded to a home on the 700 block of Frontenac Ave. at 11:31 a.m. after the husband of a 62-year-old woman called 911 to say he found his wife lying unconscious on the floor.

“We responded probably two minutes before the paramedics did,” Clark said. “Corporal Long performed CPR while I hooked up the AED. It kept saying, ‘no shock advised’, so we weren’t really sure what the issue was. But she was on the floor, not breathing with no pulse, so we just kept doing CPR until the medics arrived.”

Response records from the Stevens Point Fire Department also show five city firefighter/paramedics responded to the scene, but it was not immediately clear who. Assistant EMS Chief Joe Gemza was not immediately available for comment.

Clark said it was the paramedics who did most of the work, ultimately transporting the woman to the hospital.

“We may have helped, but they were the ones who brought the LUCAS machine, and they took over,” he said, referring to the SPFD’s LUCAS device, a mechanical chest compression device the department purchased in 2017.

Long has been a Stevens Point police officer since 2014 and was promoted to corporal in August. He was not immediately available for comment.

Clark, a rookie officer who was hired in June, said the woman survived the ordeal, but didn’t have information on her current condition.

“It was something crazy—like eight minutes later she got her pulse back,” Clark said. “It’s a win for everyone involved to see her, basically, come back to life after being pulseless and nonbreathing for that long.”

Police Chief Martin Skibba announced the awards at the Nov. 8 Police & Fire Commission meeting, saying the honors were awarded privately within the department.

“Officers tend to be shy,” Skibba said at the meeting. It was not immediately known if the department would schedule a public ceremony for the commendations.

“The medics, those guys save lives every day; it’s not something we get to do every day,” Clark said, “but we’re happy to do everything we can when our help is needed.”