Just before the new year, UW-Green Bay Police Officer Sabrina Duchateau received a call to assist with a medical call on Bay Settlement Road in the town of Scott.
Within four minutes, she was able to get to the home of a male who was unresponsive and a family member who had begun to administer CPR. Duchateau deployed an automated external defibrillator (AED) which helped her analyze the situation and deliver a shock. As she continued with CPR compressions, a Brown County deputy arrived to assist and after two minutes of CPR the AED advised that no further shock was needed. The subject had regained a pulse and officers transported him to a local hospital for care.
It was a case of the right person, with the right training, and the right equipment, at the right time. And it led to a life saved.
“When I saw the patient, I knew immediate action needed to be taken and my training provided me with the ability to act quickly,” said Duchateau, a 13-year veteran of UW-Green Bay Public Safety. “Getting the AED set up is an ingrained skill because I have trained so many people on this exact practice. It was a rewarding feeling to know that I was able to help someone because of the training and equipment my job has provided me with.”
Duchateau serves as the University’s field training officer and provides CPR instruction for the campus and local community. In a note to her supervisor, Lt. Jason McAuly of the Brown County Sheriff’s Division commended Duchateau:
“It should be noted she did a very good job and may have saved this man’s life,” he wrote. “No matter the outcome, her excellent job performance will be forever etched in the mind of the family that was on scene. Thank you.”
According to UW-Green Bay Police Chief Tom Kujawa, the AEDs are a relatively new and growing addition to campus. Over the past five years, 32 units have been placed across campus including the concourse system, the Weidner Center and the Kress Events Center. They are also available in all Public Safety vehicles. The uniform usage of the AED makes them relatively easy to use. The unit instructs a user specifically though each step, so that even the untrained can provide this life-saving measure.
“An AED can mean the difference between life and death,” said Chief Kujawa. “The AEDs we have on campus are reliable, easy to use and will provide voice prompts to let you know if and when to send a shock. In these situations, time is precious, so please review the video on how to use the AED and check around your work area so you know where the closest AED is before you need it.”
“Most sudden cardiac arrests are due to abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. A common arrhythmia is ventricular fibrillation, in which the heart’s electrical impulses suddenly become chaotic and ineffective. AEDs are small, portable computerized medical devices that can deliver an electrical shock to the heart and stop ventricular fibrillation. The AED can check a person’s heart rhythm and recognize a heart rhythm that requires a shock. The unit will then advise the rescuer when a shock is needed.”
Kujawa said the response by Duchateau is another example of local enforcement groups working together for the greater good.
“Occasionally our officers are requested to assist with our neighboring communities and other departments are always willing to help our campus community when needed.”