Chief of Police
45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803
For Immediate Release
Sunday, April 13, 2013
Contact: John Guilfoil
Burlington Police Officer Ryan Griffin Saves a Life and Helps Bring Another into the World in Back-to-Back Shifts
“Special Delivery” at the End of the Night Shift on Friday for Burlington Police
BURLINGTON – Police Chief Michael Kent is today praising the quick thinking and calmness showed by the Burlington Police Department K-9 unit and an unshakable dispatcher who have had a busier than usual week, working the overnight shift – including a patient in cardiac arrest on Thursday and a baby who was in a hurry to enter the world on Friday.
The midnight-8 a.m. shift is usually the quietest time to work as a police officer or dispatcher, but Officer Ryan Griffin, who does both jobs in the department, disproved the notion.
On Thursday, at about 7:45 a.m., Burlington Police received a 911 call from the Oracle building at 35 Network Drive. The caller was frantically reporting that a man in his 40s was down in the parking lot, unconscious and unresponsive. Officer Griffin, who was finishing a report at the station, got in his cruiser and rushed to the scene.
He navigated through the parking lot, ignoring an incorrectly placed sign that later directed a fire department rescue to the wrong building. When he arrived, the patient was not breathing and had no heartbeat, so Officer Griffin began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and continued for several minutes until the fire department and paramedics arrived. Medics shocked the man three times until he arrived at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, with a heartbeat.
The patient survived, and, according to medical officials, will soon be returning to his wife and two children.
“Without a doubt, Officer Griffin saved this man’s life,” Chief Kent said. “Officer Griffin’s actions above and beyond the call of duty and calmness in the face of an extremely critical situation are nothing short of heroic.”
Then early Friday morning, Officer Griffin was in the dispatcher’s chair when the mother of an expectant mother called 911. They were on their way to Winchester Hospital, but it was clear that the baby was not going to wait until they got there.
Officer Griffin directed the women to Lahey, and alerted the hospital to the situation, knowing that while Lahey did not have a maternity ward, it was the closest emergency room.
Officer Griffin also directed Burlington Police K-9 Officer Joe Papsedero to the scene to assist. The mother arrived not a moment too soon, as the baby was already well on its way into the world. Officer Papsedero reassured the mother as Lahey ER staff rushed outside to help deliver a healthy baby in the hospital parking lot.
“As we do not offer maternity services, It’s not often that we’re presented with a mother that far along in labor in our parking lot. Thanks to our fast-acting ER staff, we were able to deliver the baby and care for the mother,” said Malcom A. Creighton, MD, Chair of the Emergency Medicine Department at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. “We are also tremendously grateful for the support of the Burlington Police Department, Burlington Fire Department and Burlington EMS who were on scene to offer their assistance. It’s wonderful knowing we have first responders like them ready to act at a moment’s notice.”
Mother and baby are said to be doing well. They were transferred from Lahey to a Boston hospital that offers maternity services.
“This baby was in a hurry to be born, and the mother clearly would not have made it to any other hospital in time. Officer Griffin’s quick-thinking may have prevented a dangerous situation. He directed the mother to safety, without a moment to spare, and Officer Papsedero arrived just as quickly to be with the mother and help her,” Chief Kent said. “Our residents should take these two emergencies to heart and be assured that the men and women of the Burlington Police Department will be there for you in your time of need, too.”
Chief Kent also wishes to commend Lieutenant Thomas Browne, the commanding officer of the midnight shift for his leadership during these incidents.
Havoc, the Burlington Police K-9 who is partnered with Officer Papsedero, stood by to offer moral support from the cruiser.