December 06, 2012 may have been another in a string of duty days for University of South Florida Police Department (USFPD) police Corporal Ed Lutz. However, at approximately 09:20 a.m., the typical police routine of patrolling campus, conducting traffic stops, and responding to squad officers’ and supervisory duties would be inexorably altered for Corporal Lutz.
He wouldn’t know it until he heard the emergency traffic dispatched via police frequency, but he was about to be in a position to save a life.
The USFPD dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call regarding a non-breathing woman discovered on campus, it took a scant 16 seconds between the time Lutz received the call and his arrival on-scene.
Once on scene and in view of a woman lain on the floor, Lutz engaged his many years of combined police/fire/rescue training, assessed the situational factors, and astutely enacted lifesaving measures.
One component of a police officer’s arsenal of aides is an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), a portable device engineered strictly for mobile CPR capability in that it self-analyzes a patients vitals and renders whether a shock is necessary or not so as to reinvigorate the patient’s heart.
With that said, and after preliminary measures accounted for, Lutz maintained the seemingly fleeting presence of the patient by administering CPR tenets, to no avail.
Given his acutely considered strategy, experience and training, Lutz activated and retained on standby status his police cruiser-equipped Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). This action would become key in the survival ratio of Cheryl Hudson, the woman whose life was teetering before the concentrated eyes and quick actions of Lutz.
Once the Tampa Fire/Rescue (TFR) personnel arrived on scene and relieved Lutz of his fastidious and heroic efforts, TFR officials re-assessed Hudson’s vitals utilizing Lutz’s pre-activated AED device. It indicated to stand clear of patient and provide a shock to the heart.
Hudson was boarded upon a Tampa Fire/Rescue ambulance and transported to Florida Hospital where, under the auspices of physicians, cheated death…with the finite abilities and experiences of Corporal Ed Lutz.
Heroism comes in all shapes, sizes, locales, and under varying degrees of stature.
On this day, Hudson’s hero expeditiously arrived adorned in a pine-green USFPD police uniform, equipped with the tools of his trade, plied with ample experience, confidence and certitude.
Days later, Cheryl Hudson would be discharged from the cardiology care unit at Florida Hospital in Tampa, Fla.
Months later, on July 12, 2013 at the University of South Florida Police Department building, Hudson would get to hold dear the hand of USFPD Corporal Ed Lutz, the hand of the man who saved her life. Moreover, Lutz would hear the heartfelt gratitude of Fred Hudson, the husband of the woman whose life he pulled from the brink of ostensibly-certain death.
The Lifesaving Award bestowed upon Corporal Lutz is quite deserved and uniquely cherished. Yet, the sheer co-existence and reunification of corporal Lutz with Cheryl and Fred Hudson is the indelible bond shared amongst themselves for the rest of their lives.
Forever commendable are the efforts, experience, skills, fortitude, and lifelong commitment of Corporal Ed Lutz, dedicated to serving and protecting others. In this feat, Corporal Lutz, endowed with 20-plus years of endurance as a NYPD cop –and at one time, a fire chief– added his membership as a USFPD policeman and furthered the humanistic qualities we expect in our law enforcement community.
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