Officer Proffitt helps save a man’s life

Marcus Rand

Staff Writer

School Resource Officer Don Proffitt learned recently that sometimes being at the right place and time is what it takes to save a life.

Officer Proffitt was on the way to an assignment on Nov 16 when he encountered “a tragic crash on Forest Avenue right in front of Henrico Doctors Hospital.” When he arrived, “there were two nurses who were on a break trying to get [the driver] awake.” By using CPR, Officer Proffitt was able to save the man’s life.

The driver involved in the crash, who Officer Proffitt said “has a medical condition where he knew he needed help”, attempted to drive himself to the emergency room at Henrico Doctors Hospital when he lost consciousness. Afterwards, Officer Proffitt said “he sideswiped somebody then came across the lanes of travel where his car struck the curb and stopped.”

“He was unconscious. He was breathing still for a short period of time then he stopped breathing and one of the nurses started CPR,” he said.

Around thirty seconds after he began breathing, his breathing stopped again and he no longer had a pulse.

“I assisted with the chest compressions for CPR and helped that time. I don’t know how many [chest compressions] I did, but finally he started breathing again for the second time.”

On Nov 21, Officer Proffitt reunited with the man involved in the crash and the nurses who helped him. The man has recovered since his accident.

Officer Proffitt credits his ability to perform CPR to his police training, as he has been re-certified in CPR every two to three years as a requirement to be part of the police force. Although he has been a Resource Officer for HCPS for twelve years, he has been part of the police department for the past 24 years.

Throughout his long career of serving the Richmond community, Officer Proffitt said his motivation for being a police officer has been “to help people out,” and this extraordinary situation is no exception.

Officer Proffitt said that he’s thankful that he and the nurses “were all there at the right time and the right place.”

NBC 12 covered the accident and the reunification of the rescued man, Officer Proffitt, and the nurses who helped save his life. Click the link to view the segment.



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