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Johns Creek Officer honored for saving life of heart attack victim

November 21, 2014

JCPDJohns Creek Police Officer Jonathan Whitley was recognized at the Nov. 17 City Council meeting for helping save the life of a man stricken with a heart attack on a local golf course.

"Officer Jonathan Whitley had a cool head, the right equipment and the right training, and as a result a man is alive who might have died," said Mayor Mike Bodker. "Johns Creek residents can take comfort in knowing that the Johns Creek Police Department is staffed with officers like Whitley to protect them."

Whitley, a four-year veteran of the department, was on routine patrol about 1 p.m. Nov. 3 when he heard a call over his radio saying a man was down and unresponsive on the 12th hole at Rivermont Country Club. He was fairly close so he sped to the club where employees were waiting to direct him to the dying man.

Whitley, who had just finished a 52-hour emergency medical response course only a month earlier, was ready. Johns Creek Police cars are equipped with Automated External Defibrillators and First Aid kits, and Whitley brought both.

When he first saw 84-year-old Carol Morin, two other men were doing CPR on him. Whitley quickly attached adhesive pads to Morin's chest and side and the AED did a quick analysis that indicated his heart was fibrillating, or quivering instead of pumping. It recommended his heart be shocked into a steady rhythm. Whitley threw the switch. The AED sent a jolt of electricity to Morin's heart. While the AED re-set itself, Whitley concentrated on chest compressions with another man helping Morin with his breathing.

After the AED recharged, a second diagnosis recommended another shock. Whitely threw the switch again, and then renewed the chest compressions. A few minutes later, Rural Metro Ambulance paramedics and Johns Creek Rescue units arrived. They found Morin's pulse had returned.

"I just thought, Good,'" Whitley said. "That's what you want to hear."

The paramedics whisked Morin to Emory Johns Creek Hospital where he was treated. A few days later, he visited Morin who thanked him for saving his life.

"When you're doing it, you're in the moment," Whitley said. "Your training kicks in. You're focused on what you're doing. It wasn't until later that I began to appreciate what had happened. It was one of the better days of my law enforcement career. It was very rewarding. I mean, that's a life."

Police Chief Ed Densmore praised Whitley for keeping his cool and remembering his training.

"He used his knowledge, skill and abilities to what needed to be done," Densmore said. "His actions typify the kind of officers we have. We're proud of him. He did an outstanding job."