Lifesaving award for Naperville cops who revived overdose victim

  • Naperville police officers Jason Duffy and Jeremy Womack receive the police department's lifesaving award for reviving a 17-year-old Lisle girl using the heroin antidote Narcan. They shook hands with Mayor George Pradel after receiving the award during a city council meeting Feb. 3.

    Naperville police officers Jason Duffy and Jeremy Womack receive the police department's lifesaving award for reviving a 17-year-old Lisle girl using the heroin antidote Narcan. They shook hands with Mayor George Pradel after receiving the award during a city council meeting Feb. 3. Marie Wilson | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted2/5/2015 1:41 PM

A 17-year-old Lisle girl has been given a "second chance" by two Naperville cops who were honored with the police department's lifesaving award.

Officers Jason Duffy and Jeremy Womack used Narcan, which counters the effects of a heroin overdose, to bring the teen back to life Jan. 23 at an apartment in the 700 block of Benedetti Drive in Naperville.

 

When they arrived, Womack, 27, assessed the girl's condition, but found her breathing shallow and her lips blue.

Duffy, 32, readied a dose of nasal Narcan and sprayed it into the girl's nostrils. He had been given the drug to carry while on duty only three days earlier when he was trained to use it through a DuPage County program that has equipped nearly 2,000 officers with the heroin antidote since October 2013.

Duffy and Womack both had responded to drug overdoses before, so they knew they'd eventually use their Narcan. Neither imagined they'd administer their first dose less than a week after they learned how.

"Not that soon, but I'm glad we got that training," Duffy said. "It's easy to use, which is good, especially when your adrenaline is pumping in a situation like this."

Narcan works by blocking the receptors in the brain that are stimulated by opiates such as heroin. It begins almost immediately to undo an overdose that otherwise could stop a person from breathing.

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Paramedics arrived moments after Duffy revived the girl with Narcan, but Womack said it's important to be able to act as soon as possible.

"It was a big help to have it right there instead of having to wait for the fire department," Womack said.

The girl was treated and released from Edward Hospital in Naperville and now is receiving treatment to help stop her heroin use, Naperville police Chief Robert Marshall said Feb. 3 before recognizing the officers for their lifesaving actions.

"There is no doubt that the quick response by the officers and their use of Narcan contributed to the fact that this young person is alive today," Marshall said. "Her father said to the police officers, 'Thank you for giving my daughter a second chance.'"

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