Porter County Sheriff's Department

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Life Saving Award presented to Sergeant Emmons

Sheriff David Lain presents Sgt. Emmons with a Life Saving award and certificate

Device, sergeant save a life
May 13, 2009

By James D. Wolf Jr., Post-Tribune correspondent

VALPARAISO -- When Porter County Sheriff's Police Sgt. Tim Emmons requested a portable defibrillator for his patrol car, he didn't think he'd put his training to use two weeks later.  However, that request ended up saving the life of Keith Lakin of Pine Township on April 4, and on Tuesday earned Emmons the recognition of the Department Life Saving Award.  "I always thought that if I was going to use it, it would be on one of my neighbors," Emmons said, recalling that he requested it because he knew many people with heart problems.  "It was a lot of interesting coincidences that came into place," Emmons said. "I know it's an expensive piece of equipment, but it shows why every officer should be carrying one."  One more officer will be carrying one after Lakin and his wife, Mary Ellen, presented the Sheriff's Department with a $500 check Tuesday afternoon. That will pay for part of the cost of a ninth automated external defibrillator.  Lakin himself doesn't recall much of the incident, just that he went to his farm property in Jackson Township to stop kids from using ATVs and other vehicles in the drained pond.  He's been chasing off trespassers in vehicles for about 25 years, he said. This time, two trucks had become stuck in the mud.   "Sgt. Emmons told me to calm down, and that's when I fell over," he said.  His heart stopped for 27 minutes, and he remained unconscious for a few days, Mary Ellen said.  He also had a pacemaker put in because his heartbeat was irregular.   Emmons told the crowd that many people helped out, including paramedics and four boys who ran through "a sea of mud" to his car a quarter mile away to get the defibrillator.  "Four kids who had the courage to stick around when their classmates took off for the woods," Emmons said. Those boys were Spencer Stockwell, 18; Mark Hutnick, 19; Kevin M. Ryczek, 18; and Nick Maggio, age unknown.  Emmons also received a certificate and medal from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association.  Mary Ellen Lakin said she doesn't let her husband go to the property anymore. It's about 8 miles from their home.

Mrs. Lakin speaking to Sergeant Emmons and Sheriff David Lain


Mr. & Mrs. Lakin with Sergeant Timothy Emmons

Deputy, teens save man's life

By Ken Kosky| Wednesday, April 08, 2009


JACKSON TOWNSHIP | A Porter County Sheriff's Department deputy saved the life of an elderly man who collapsed right in front of him Friday night.

Sgt. Timothy Emmons performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to administer five or six shocks to restart the heart of the man, Keith Lakin, 81, of rural Chesterton. The last shock restored Lakin's pulse and he was rushed to Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus.  Emmons went to the hospital later and learned Lakin regained consciousness and was in fair condition  "I'm really happy with the way it turned out, especially when I got to meet the family (at the hospital)," Emmons said.  Emmons said he's been involved in saving a couple other lives during his 26-year police career, but nothing as dramatic as this one.  The rescue occurred when Emmons responded to a trespassing complaint on Lakin's property and the NIPSCO right-of-way east of Chesterton.  Emmons said he walked several hundred yards into a wooded area and saw a truck stuck in the mud and saw a man, later determined to be Lakin, yelling at eight to 10 teens. Lakin told Emmons that people have repeatedly driven in his field and damaged it. Then Lakin suddenly fell face down onto the ground.  Many of the teens fled, but four remained.  Emmons determined Lakin wasn't breathing and had no pulse, so he started CPR while the teens ran to his police car to retrieve his AED. Emmons said he used the AED to deliver five or six shocks, the last of which worked. The teens also directed Liberty Township firefighters and Porter hospital medics to the site.  Emmons credits the teens who stayed, and the responding firefighters and medics, with helping to save Lakin's life. The teens were not arrested because the investigation indicates they were out helping the other teens who caused damage and got stuck. The investigation continues. 

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