Deputies Honored for Life Saving

(Harford County, Md) — Three Harford County Sheriff’s deputies were recently honored by their local fire company for their role in saving the life of a motor vehicle crash victim who had suffered a cardiac arrest.

On September 6, 2005, members of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company honored Dfc Gerald Eaton, Dfc James Thornton and Sgt. Charles Carr for saving the life of John Douglas Epperley. Shortly after midnight on May 28, 2005, Deputies Eaton and Thornton along with Sgt. Carr were dispatched to the 400 block of Thomas Run Road near Bel Air for a motor vehicle crash. A passerby discovered Epperely’s 2002 Jeep Cherokee had left the roadway and crashed. The motorist, Jon McGuirk, immediately called 911. McGuirk and a passenger in his car, Mark Driver, checked and found Epperley had no pulse. They removed him from the car and began CPR. Deputy Eaton was the first to arrive. He attached his automatic external defibrillator (AED) to the victim and shocked the patient back to a normal heart rhythm. Dfc Thornton and Sgt.Carr arrived and along with DFC Eaton assisted with additional lifesaving efforts and in removing the patient from the crash scene into an awaiting ambulance. While en route to the hospital Mr. Epperley regained conscious and survived. He was released from the hospital several days later.

“Saving lives is a team effort and these officers working with the two citizens and later fire and EMS personnel gave Mr. Epperley another chance at life,” said Paul D.Chizmar, President of the Bel Air VFC. “It is our privilege to honor these men for their actions that night,” Chizmar said.

Sheriff R. Thomas Golding, a strong proponent of AED’s in police cars, was present at the ceremony and echoed President Chizmar’s comments. “We’ve proven time and again AED’s are a valuable tool for police officers to carry in their patrol cars,” he said. “I’m proud of their actions that night and that because of the quick actions these deputies took that evening Mr. Epperley returned home to his family alive and well,” Golding said, adding. “There is no greater feeling of satisfaction.”

Press Release

September 09, 2005


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