3 Hanover Park police officers honored for saving man's life in May

  • Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig, from left, and Deputy Police Chief Andrew Johnson presented awards Thursday to police officers Ray Rhode, Justin Winkler and Oscar Morales for saving the life of a 20-year-old resident who had stopped breathing.

    Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig, from left, and Deputy Police Chief Andrew Johnson presented awards Thursday to police officers Ray Rhode, Justin Winkler and Oscar Morales for saving the life of a 20-year-old resident who had stopped breathing. Courtesy of Hanover Park Police Department

 
 
Updated 8/6/2021 4:24 PM

It takes just minutes to change someone's life.

Hanover Park police officers Oscar Morales, Justin Winkler and Ryan Rhode did just that, and they were honored during Thursday's village board meeting for saving a resident's life.

 

The officers responded to the call of an unconscious 20-year-old man in the early morning hours of May 28. The man had collapsed on the kitchen floor of his home and was not breathing.

Winkler began chest compressions, while Morales prepared an automatic external defibrillator. Rhode took over compressions while Winkler used the machine administered a shock to the man's heart, and the officers continued CPR until paramedics arrived.

It was their quick response that kept the man alive, the fire department later confirmed.

"These are three fine officers, and it is always gratifying to see our officers recognized for the excellent work they do," Deputy Chief Terrence Sherrill said during Thursday night's ceremony.

Mayor Rodney Craig and Deputy Chief Andrew Johnson presented the awards.

Craig said it's a distinction that isn't given out often.

"In the course of your career, I don't think there's anything more important that you could be a part of than having someone still be on the planet because of actions you took," Johnson said.

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Rhode and Winkler began as officers in 2019, and Morales is a "veteran" of 11 years, Sherrill said.

In 2017, the police department began to install AEDs in its squad cars.

"When we first started the program, we said 'if we just get one save, it'll be worth it,'" Johnson said.

Craig said he is glad Hanover Park police have the training and the tools to help residents in harm's way.

"We are honored to acknowledge the good efforts of these officers," he said.

The 20-year-old man was taken to the hospital, where he received a pacemaker and internal defibrillator. The cause of the his health problem was not disclosed.

"He's doing well," Craig said.

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