Honoring life-saving efforts

Several Penn State University Police officers at University Park were recently honored by the Centre County Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Survivor Coalition for their live-saving efforts.

Penn State University Police Officer Allen Miller and Officer Melanie Medina were on bike patrol during the Penn State vs. Appalachian State home football game on September 1 when they were alerted to a medical emergency in a parking lot outside Beaver Stadium. 

Upon arrival, they located the patient, Douglas Shreffler, completed a primary assessment, and quickly determined Shreffler had no pulse and was not breathing. The officers immediately began CPR until paramedics and an EMS unit arrived with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). 

The officers’ quick response, including the victim assessment determining the medical emergency and the early initiation of CPR, and the work of other first responders, played a significant role in Shreffler’s survival.

Additionally, Lt. Mike Nelson assisted with information gathering and transporting family members from the scene to Mount Nittany Medical Center.

The Centre County Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Survivor Coalition recently honored Officer Miller, Officer Medina and Lt. Nelson at the Centre County Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Survivor Coalition at the Mount Nittany Medical Center for their life-saving efforts.

The association also honored Penn State University Police Officer Cyprien “Skip” Brien and Officer Mike Baker, who assisted the State College Police Department with a cardiac arrest incident on University Drive on September 24. University Police officers assisted State College officers with providing treatment to Skyler Scholl, as part of the CPR protocol, by assisting with supplemental oxygen administration and medical equipment preparation. 

The combined efforts, along with the work of other first responders, played a significant role in Scholl’s survival.

Penn State University Police at University Park is a member of the Centre County Chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association with Sgt. John Torres as the department’s representative. The organization’s members include EMS and law enforcement agencies from throughout Centre County.

The purpose of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association is to provide greater community awareness about sudden cardiac arrest, promote bystander CPR, promote acquisition and use of AED's, public access AED's, and increase survival rates for those who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.

The Centre County chapter hosts a survivor celebration semi-annually. Rescuers, including emergency responders and civilian bystanders, who administered life-saving skills or assisted with the care provided that resulted in the patient surviving are invited to attend this celebration. Additionally, the survivors are invited to attend to meet those who were directly instrumental in saving their life in the pre-hospital setting. It provides missing details for the patients and brings a sense of closure to all involved with the incident.  

At the celebration, each rescuer is recognized by receiving a certificate and a pin to acknowledge and celebrate their role in the successful outcome for the patient.