When Hailey Evans signed up to become a police officer, she knew her days could involve unexpected twists and turns. But she never knew her some of her most important actions would come while she was on vacation.
Evans was recently credited with using her CPR training to help save the life of a fellow American tourist while visiting the Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland, with her sister.
After making her way to the top of castle and kissing the Blarney stone, Evans said, she was working her way down a winding staircase and heard others calling for help in another section of the castle.
"It was a pretty awkward fit, but I was able to climb out of the staircase I was going down and work my way into another pretty narrow stairwell where a larger gentleman was lodged and unconscious," Evans said. "The gentleman behind him told me he just collapsed as he was climbing."
Evans said she was quickly joined by an off-duty paramedic who helped her get the man down the stairs and into a less cramped area to begin chest compressions.
"It was all adrenaline kicking in," she said. "I don't even know that we were thinking as much as we were just doing."
After about six rounds of compressions, castle staff arrived with an automated external defibrillator, which Evans used to know when to administer breaths and chest compressions until more help arrived.
"Here I was, just enjoying a great trip with my sister when I was reminded that first responders are never off duty," Evans said. "And that's the job I signed up for."
The man, whom she knows only as David, suddenly regained a pulse and began breathing on his own before being flown by helicopter from the castle to the nearest hospital.
"When the AED worked and he started breathing, that was such an unbelievable and humbling feeling," Evans said. "I'm so thankful to the others who jumped in to help because we needed all of them."
Evans said she has not been in touch with David or his wife, Joyce, but has heard he is doing well.
Word of Evans' lifesaving heroics quickly made its way back to her fellow Lisle officers.
"The Lisle Police Department is extremely proud of (Evans) and her recent lifesaving actions. Like a true professional, she answered when duty called and used her top-notch training to help save a life," Deputy Chief Ron Wilke said. "All of this while vacationing out of the country, proving once again that a first responder is never really off duty."
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