A veteran Lincolnshire police officer is being lauded for saving a choking resident's life.
Sgt. Michael Clark received a certificate of appreciation from Mayor Elizabeth Brandt during Monday's village board meeting. Clark also will receive a departmental Life Saving Award, which comes with a formal pin for his uniform.
Responding to a 911 call about 7:40 p.m. May 27, Clark rescued a 58-year-old man who was choking on a piece of pork chop.
"Upon my arrival, the patient was on the couch in front of the television, unconscious and unresponsive," Clark recalled.
Clark moved the man to the floor and turned on the portable automated external defibrillator he brought from his squad car, but the device didn't recommend shocking the patient. So, Clark performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
The chest compressions partially dislodged the food in the man's throat. Paramedics got the rest out with forceps and then took him to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
"The patient was still unconscious when he was transported to Condell ... but he was able to breathe on his own," Clark said.
The man was treated in the emergency room and released. He was unable to attend Monday's board meeting because he and his wife were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, Police Chief Joe Leonas said.
"I have no doubt that if Sgt. Mike Clark wasn't there, the victim would not be celebrating his 30-year wedding anniversary," Leonas said. "The patient said he is doing great, and both he and his wife were very appreciative."
Clark, a 15-year veteran of the Lincolnshire Police Department, is the agency's CPR and defibrillator instructor. Every Lincolnshire squad car is equipped with a portable defibrillator, and officers are trained to do CPR, too.
This is the third time Clark has saved someone's life. He previously helped a person choking on food at a restaurant, and he successfully administered naloxone to a drug overdose victim.
"It feels good to be recognized by the mayor, village board and police department, especially given the public's perception of the police today," Clark said.