Teamwork, CPR saves man’s life; allows loved ones to say goodbye

Published 12:30 am Thursday, February 24, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

VIDOR — The Vidor Police Department honored police officers Dakota Gaines, Brittany Haley and Sgt. Tom Meadows for their actions during a Life Saving Award Ceremony this week at Vidor City Hall.

On Dec. 20, Officer Gaines was dispatched to the 100 Block of North Lakeside in reference to a burglary of a building. Upon arrival, the officer witnessed the complainant walk from a building on the property and collapse.

The officer went to check on the complainant, thinking he had just stumbled on the rock surface. Upon contact with the complainant, the officer noticed the individual was unresponsive and having a difficult time breathing.

“This was my first time ever being in this situation,” Gaines said. “Nothing can prepare you for any real scenario, however, just knowing the basic life-saving skills can help.”

The officer checked for a pulse and did not locate one. At this time, Gaines initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

He called out for backup on the radio and was soon joined by Officer Haley and Sgt. Meadows, who also assisted in CPR until the arrival of EMS.

“As a police officer and chief, I have heard many radio transmissions,” Chief Rod Carroll said. “I am able to recognize the stress in an officer’s voice when he is requesting assistance. The tower is only a short distance from the Vidor Police Department and at this time all available on-duty personal responded to help.”

CPR is a very tiring effort emotionally and physically, he said.

“Officers were able to rotate, giving chest compressions and rescue breaths until EMS arrived,” he said. “The efforts of these officers initiating immediate CPR and rescue breaths made the difference in the outcome of the patient recovering a pulse.”

This individual was transported to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital with a pulse by Allegiance Ambulance Service and allowed him eight more days to say goodbye to his loved ones.

“As a Man, I have lost families and friends over the years,” Carroll said. “The worst part of losing a loved one unexpectedly is that you cannot say goodbye.

“This leaves a void in us that must be overcome but by the complainant surviving eight more days, this allowed his friends and family not to remember Christmas as a time of sorrow in which they lost a loved one and to have the opportunity to say goodbye.”

Gaines currently works as a patrolman for the Beaumont Police Department.

— Written by Sierra Kondos, Special to The Leader