Detective Sergeant Paul Clampitt Honored as 2019 American Red Cross Emergency Medical Assistance Hero

PC_2For Detective Sergeant Paul Clampitt, a routine summer day came and went as any other. He had just finished his shift patrolling Grundy County as he had for so long, having worked for the Sheriff’s department for more than 25 years.

As Paul was wrapping up for the day at his office in Morris and about to head home, his radio blared. It was a report of an unresponsive man who was not breathing. Paul knew he had to take the call.

If by fate, Paul was just blocks away from the incident. Carson’s Tap House was nearby on Liberty Street, and he was able to get there in about a minute. Once there, he grabbed the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from his squad car and rushed inside to see a man collapsed on the ground. A woman had started CPR.

Training and instincts kicked in as he quickly set up the AED and scanned for the victim’s heart activity. Paul administered a shock from the device, and the man immediately gasped. Paul knew he had restarted the man’s pulse and continued lifesaving measures. Local paramedics arrived and prepared to take the patient to a nearby hospital. That’s when Paul realized that he not only knew the man he just saved, but just about every person in town did, too.

Ken Iverson is a local coach, teacher and friend to nearly everyone in Morris. He is sits on the Grundy County Board, and is the Sports Program Manager at the YMCA. He was attending a YMCA staff party and playing a game of bags with a young boy, when he had this cardiac event.

Paul’s quick intervention and the speed at which the paramedics got Ken to the hospital, made all the difference in saving Ken’s life. Ken ultimately survived without any lasting effects. The fact that Paul had an AED to administer the shock was instrumental in preserving Ken’s health, especially in a rural area like Morris, where it can take longer for paramedics to arrive. In Grundy County, every squad car is equipped with an AED, and every officer is trained on how to use it.

“It’s a hard feeling to put in words. I guess God works in mysterious ways and he puts people in the right spot at the right time and that day it happened to be me,” Paul said.

Since this incident and Paul’s life-saving actions, the town has taken notice of the lack of AED’s in many local businesses on Liberty Street and the community is now driven to change this. Ken gratefully helped to organize a fundraiser to pay for new AEDs, to ensure that this life-saving device is never more than a few seconds away.

The Emergency Medical Assistance Award is presented to an individual(s) who provided lifesaving medical assistance to a person or people in need during a time of crisis.  

Follow #RedCrossHeroes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates about the 2019 Heroes. For more information about the 2019 Heroes Breakfast, click here.

To see more of Paul’s story, watch his video here.

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