Shore Memorial Honors Somers Point Police for Life-Saving Efforts

December 01, 2009

Local resident Tom Major experienced a sudden cardiac arrest during the recent Labor Day weekend but was saved by the quick actions of his son-in-law and the Somers Point police, including Officer Rick Dill, Special Officer Chris Haskins and Special Officer Jeffrey Mazer, who used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to restart Major’s heart.

On Monday, November 30, the Life Support Training Center of Shore Memorial Hospital honored the police officers and Major’s son-in-law, Dr. Michael O’Hara, with a ceremony at the hospital.

Lucy Perna, basic life support course director for the Life Support Training program, presented certificates to the officers and to Dr. O’Hara. She also gave a special framed plaque to Major, who said a few words in praise of the officers.

“There’s an old Chinese saying that if you save somebody’s life, then you’re responsible for it. So I interpret that to mean if I was speeding or missed a stop sign, they can’t arrest me,” Major joked.

Major, 78, was spending the Saturday of Labor Day weekend at his home with his wife, daughter and son-in-law when he went into cardiac arrest. O’Hara instructed the others to call 911 and began CPR.

The police arrived several minutes later and used the defibrillator from Officer Dill’s patrol car to restart Major’s heart.

The Life Support Training Center at Shore Memorial offers a full range of life support training, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid instruction to healthcare professionals and to the southern New Jersey community.

“Approximately 250,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in out-of-hospital settings each year,” Perna said. “We can do something about this just by putting AEDs in the community and teaching the community how to use them.”

Pictured above: Tom Major offers thanks to (L to R) Special Officer Chris Haskins, Special Officer Jeffrey Mazer and Officer Rick Dill of the Somers Point Police for their lifesaving efforts, at an award ceremony held by the Life Support Training Program of Shore Memorial Hospital at Shore Memorial on November 30.