Communications - News at Medicine - November 2018 - Behind the scenes heroes

Behind the scenes heroes
November 21, 2018
While Memorial’s Campus and Enforcement Patrol (CEP) officers usually have pretty routine days, one Tuesday in October was anything but ordinary.
Officer Sean Ford was performing his regular duties that morning, patrolling the south-side campus. Meanwhile, Shift Supervisor Terry Gilbert was leaving the medical school building after picking up the mail and having a chat with the officer on duty, Robert Hayes. Just around the corner, parking officers Melanie Mullett and Adam Brookings were checking permits and writing up tickets.

That’s when the unexpected happened.

“When the call came in, I looked at the officer on the other side of me and said ‘did he just say a car rolled over?’” said Officer Ford.

On his way back to the CEP office, Officer Hayes looked out the atrium windows in the medical school building and saw a car veer off the road into the river below. In a few minutes, officers Hayes, Gilbert, Mullett, Brookings and Ford were on the scene.

“When we got there, we really had no idea what happened, other than the fact that the car was in the river,” said Officer Ford. “We quickly realized the driver’s feet were jammed under the pedals and that he wasn’t coming out the driver’s door, so two guys went down in the water to un-jam his feet and we got him out through the passenger side backdoor. It was then we realized his wasn’t breathing.”

Once they pulled the unresponsive man out of the car, Officer Ford started CPR and another officer set up a face mask for him to go straight into rescue breaths. On the third compression, paramedics were on site and took over.
Officer Ford, who has been with CEP for little over a year, thanks his recent first aid training session by a fellow officer for his quick response.

“Everything happened within nine and a half minutes, from the car going into the water to when paramedics drove away. But it felt like an eternity. It’s just lucky that everyone was where they were at the time,” he said. 
Thanks to their quick actions, the driver survived.

A day in the life of a CEP officer

When asked about his normal routine, Officer Ford reflects back to that Tuesday morning where he distinctly remembers thinking “this is going to be another slow day.”

Usually, his day consists of access requests, general patrol and, more often than not, the classic “I got locked out of my office” calls.

“As far as universities go, Memorial is a very low-risk campus. And I guess it’s a good reflection on us, because over the years we’ve done a good job of being a deterrent on campus,” said Officer Ford.  

As the officers get back to their day-to-day operations, CEP’s assistant manager, Fred Rideout, believes the campus is “very fortunate to have dedicated and professional men and women who take pride in representing Memorial University.”