Mesa detention officers were credited last week with saving the life of a woman in a holding cell awaiting transport to Gilbert.
Officers Jim Clary and Jared Bates said the woman served her time but was waiting for Gilbert police to pick her up on a warrant for an unspecified reason.
Bates found the woman unresponsive about 15 minutes after an earlier wellness check showed she was fine.
“I noticed she wasn’t breathing, and I could see in her face she had passed away,” said Bates. “I checked for a pulse and there was none. She didn’t respond to the sternum rub.”
“At that point, we pulled her onto the ground,” Officer Forrest Lanhart told city representatives. “We tried to use the smelling salts to no effect. She didn’t have a pulse. She wasn’t breathing. She was gray.”
Officer Jim Clary administered Narcan – a nasal spray used to counteract an opioid overdose but when that didn’t help, the officers started chest compressions.
Clary performed CPR for at least several minutes and then Bates replaced him until paramedics arrived.
Sgt. Lemuel Green also tried an automated external defibrillator machine.
“If it doesn’t register any heartbeat, it’ll tell you to keep going with compressions,” said Bates. “In this case, that’s what it did. We put the patch on, checked for a heartbeat, it didn’t detect a heartbeat so it told us to continue with chest compressions.”
Mesa Fire paramedics arrived in less than seven minutes and they started performing CPR for another five minutes.
“They take over like champs,” said Lanhart. They brought her back. She got up and walked herself to the gurney and was transported to the hospital.”
Added Bates: “The whole time you’re just holding your breath because you don’t know how it’s going to end. To see her walk out, breathing and talking was a sigh of relief.”