Device, sergeant save a life
May 13, 2009
By James D. Wolf Jr., Post-Tribune
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.
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.