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Loudon Co. deputy gives woman another chance at life

Deputy Rodriguez was on the scene and removed the woman from the car then placed her on the ground on her back.
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 11:40 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The decision to have Loudon County Sheriff’s Office deputies better trained as medical first responders is proving beneficial and has saved one woman’s life.

On Monday, Nov. 29, Deputy Mark Rodriguez responded to a report of an unresponsive female in a vehicle at the intersection of a highway in Southern Loudon County. The caller stated his wife was having chest pains and left arm pain while in the car. She then reportedly stopped breathing and became unresponsive, a release said.

After just a minute, Deputy Rodriguez was on the scene and removed the woman from the car, placing her on the ground on her back.

“Without hesitation, he began chest compressions and was able to hook up his department-issued AED. The AED delivered one shock to the female, and shortly after, she began breathing on her own,” a release stated.

EMS was able to get to the scene and transport her to Parkwest ER, where she is expected to make a full recovery.

“Without Deputy Rodriguez’s quick actions and medical training, the outcome of this call could have been much different. This act is the greatest example of service to our community,” said Corporal Zac Frye, who witnessed Rodriguez in action.

Deputy Rodriguez and eleven others recently completed the Emergency Medical Responder Certification Program through a partnership with Priority EMS, a spokesperson said.

“Last year Sergeant Matt Fagiana, who is also an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician with Sevier County EMS, approached myself and Sheriff Guider with the idea to certify our patrol deputies as EMR’s,” said Chief Deputy Jimmy Davis. “Seeing the value in adding more life-saving training to our deputies immediately gained our support. We know from first hand experience that in far rural areas of Loudon County, our deputies are often first on the scene of medical emergencies that require immediate interventions such as, airway management, CPR and early defibrillation,” said Davis.

The deputies who completed the EMR course recently received advanced training on airway management, medical and trauma emergencies and basic skills to prepare patients for the arrival of EMS, officials said.

“The partnership and relationships that we have with our Fire and EMS teams, especially Director Estes and his team at Priority EMS, are crucial to being a more advanced, a better trained, group of law enforcement officers who realize that we operate as much more than cops who take people to jail, enforce laws and write tickets.”, said Davis. “We want our deputies to be able to provide life-saving care to not only themselves and their beat partners, but to the community. And to our knowledge, we are one of the few sheriff’s offices in the state to have an EMR Program - Blount County being the only one that I know of in this area,” said Chief Davis.

“This recent event that involved Deputy Rodriguez and the skills he used to save a woman’s life is exactly why I supported this EMR and AED program here,” said Sheriff Tim Guider. “Giving that family a chance at more life and more memories with their loved one makes all the hard work and dedication of those involved worth it because without that training and without that AED, that day could have ended much differently than what it did.”, said Sheriff Guider. “We know it’s going to positively touch other families in the future too.”

As of now, there are four AEDs deployed within LCSO.

If you are interested in helping fund additional AEDs for LCSO, contact Sgt. Matt Fagiana at mfagiana@lcsotn.org.

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