June 20, 2018
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Police officers saved life of man who overdosed, Belfast chief says

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — Two police officers saved the life of a man who stopped breathing after an apparent drug overdose last weekend, according to Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden.

When Sgt. Walter Corey and Officer Dan Fitzpatrick went to a High Street apartment Saturday night after a noise complaint, they found three men inside the residence who appeared to have been drinking or taking other substances, McFadden said. The officers warned the men to quiet down, and realized that one of them — a 29-year-old from Old Town — was on probation.

Corey and Fitzpatrick placed the Old Town man in the back seat of a police car and called his probation officer to determine what they should do with him. When police returned to release him, as per the probation officer’s instructions, they found that he was slumped over, had vomited and was unconscious.

“There was no pulse. He was not breathing,” McFadden said. “He was turning blue.”

The officers called for an ambulance, immediately began to perform CPR and used defibrillator paddles to resuscitate the man.

“Their efforts were successful. The man started breathing and got his heartbeat back,” McFadden said.

Emergency medical responders gave the Old Town man a shot of Narcan, which reverses the effects of opioids, and he quickly regained consciousness, according to the chief. Police didn’t know if he had overdosed from a narcotic that he took before being placed in the police car or after, but either way, the chief believes his officers saved the man’s life.

“Had he not collapsed when he did,” the man might not have survived the overdose, McFadden said.

Police did not identify the man because the incident was a medical matter and no charges were filed.

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