In early November, Michael Garrett, a lieutenant with the New York State Police out of Sidney, NY, responded to a call for help at an area post office where a woman had collapsed and was in cardiac arrest.

“When the call came in and I heard the age of the victim, it was about the same age as my mother and I hoped to be able to help in some way,” recalls Garrett. “I arrived on the scene with another trooper and my training kicked in. Fortunately, a few civilians on the scene took quick action and initiated CPR moments before my arrival. I grabbed the trauma bag from the trooper’s vehicle, assessed the condition of the victim and began use of the automated external defibrillator (AED).”

Use of the AED succeeded in restarting the patient’s heart and she was rushed to Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown where the team in the emergency department took over.

“Lieutenant Garrett's quick use of the AED on Nov. 2 was life-saving for this patient,” says Matthew Kleinmaier, MD, a senior attending physician in Bassett’s emergency department. “Our partnership with first responders is critically important; they are first on the scene to help people experiencing a medical emergency in the field and a vital link in patient care.”

Bassett presented Lt. Garrett with a Community Hero award for “dedication and service to a community through quick action in the deployment of AED usage to save the life of a resident in the community.”

Garrett says it was rewarding to learn later that day that the patient was up and talking and doing ok.

“We are out there fighting the good fight, but it doesn’t always turn out the way we’d like. I’ve had to use the AED at various times over the years. This recent emergency had a good outcome and that is always what we hope for. I appreciate the recognition by Bassett Medical Center and the relationship-building with first responders. However, as in most emergency situations, I know on this particular day the favorable outcome would not have been achieved without the teamwork, cooperation and actions of citizens, my fellow trooper, responding EMS, and Bassett’s emergency department staff.”