21 October 2018
Saving a life:
Ptl. Randy Sutton’s CPR training pays off
by Ron Bartlett
The life of an elderly Princeton resident was saved last Thursday thanks to the quick actions of Borough Patrolman Randy Sutton and several others.
Ptl. Sutton responded to an emergency call at Lillie’s Beauty Salon on Quarry Street, where the 80-year-old woman appeared to have died because of heart failure.
But through the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Ptl. Sutton was able to keep the woman’s life from slipping away.
THE VICTIM, Marie Wesley of Spruce Circle, is in critical condition at the Medical Center of Princeton’s special care unit, according to a hospital spokesperson.
Lillie C. Taylor, the owner of the beauty shop, said the woman — a regular customer for several years — had been waiting to have her hair set when she collapsed at 11:30 a m.
Ptl. Sutton said he arrived to find the victim propped unconscious on a chair, and being fanned by a bystander. The officer checked Ms. Taylor’s breathing and heart rate and,finding no sign of life, called for the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad’s Lifemobile and began administering CPR.
The woman responded to Ptl. Sutton’s CPR attempts, and moments later her heart stopped again before she responded again.
“She had been out for a very short period of time, luckily,” said Ptl. Sutton.
PARAMEDICS Joe Derman and Kevin Kelty from the first aid squad took over the attempts to revive the victim and she was rushed to the hospital.
Ptl. Sutton, a member of the borough police for the past five years, was also a member of Princeton’s first aid squad for six years. Although all officers receive CPR training — mouth-to-mouth breathing and heart massage — he received his as a squad volunteer.
“I’ve used it (CPR) many times, during the course of my time with the first aid squad and the police,” said the patrolman. “There have been times when a person came back, but there was never a time when they regained a normal existence.”
The officer said he was pleased to hear that Ms. Wesley’s condition has improved somewhat since her admission to the hospital. His helping to save a life has been hard to characterize, he added.
“IT’S NOT really a describable feeling, it’s an elation that’s difficult to put into words,” said Ptl. Sutton. “I’m very proud, happy to have been able to make a difference.”
The officer was born and raised in Princeton, and is now residing in Trenton. He said first aid and CPR training are two areas he has always advocated for residents to undertake.
“I can’t recount the number of times citizens have been at the scene of an accident standing around. They want to do something to help, but they just don’t know what to do,” Ptl. Sutton said.