North Carolina State Trooper Saves a Life using EMT Training

2152016For most speeding vehicles, Jeremy Freeman's reaction as a state trooper is routine. Siren. Flashing lights. A stop, and then a conversation. Sept. 15 was different. A life was at stake, and fortunately for the driver of the speeding vehicle and his wife, Freeman was the trooper who saw him. On that day, he was on patrol on N.C. 87 East and observed a red Ford pickup driving well over the posted speed limit. Freeman proceeded toward enforcement action, turning on his siren and flashing lights. The driver yielded and pulled over to the side of the road, jumped out of his vehicle and began shouting, "My wife, my wife," Freeman said. After quickly surveying the situation, the trooper realized the man had been speeding toward a hospital. "I got to the passenger door of the vehicle, and I quickly realized that the man's wife was not responsive," Freeman said. "The husband and I lifted her up, placing her in the truck bed of his vehicle. I ran to my trunk to retrieve my patrol issued medical kit and radioed communications for an ambulance on location." Freeman is one of just three troopers out of Bladen County with a background in emergency medical services. "From there, I quickly checked her pulse and respiration, noticing that she had a pulse, but was not breathing," Freeman said. "I attempted ventilation with my bag-valve mask, but no air was moving through. First thing that popped into my mind was that her tongue must be at the back of her throat. So, I grabbed my oropharyngeal airway device, inserted it sideways, twisted it at a 90-degree turn, which moved her tongue, allowing air to enter into her lungs. I then continued using the bag-valve mask, watching her chest rise and fall." Shortly after, the husband told Freeman that the victim was under the care of a physician, and prescribed morphine. With this new knowledge and his background as an EMT, Freeman asked if she was also prescribed naloxone, an antidote for emergency situations. The husband, a nurse himself, remembered they did have some in the car. Freeman assisted the husband with the auto-injection of naloxone and continued performing ventilation on the woman. By the time the EMS arrived, the woman was breathing on her own and beginning to talk. For his efforts, Freeman's efforts earned him the Highway Patrol Samaritan Award. It's awarded for going beyond the call of duty. Col. Bill Grey, commander of the State Highway Patrol, and Frank L. Perry, secretary of the Department of Public Safety, presented Freeman's award and several others in a special ceremony recently. The awards given included the State Highway Patrol Meritorious Service Award and the Appreciation Award in addition to the Samaritan Award. "The men and women honored here today have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the citizens of North Carolina," Grey said during the ceremony. "I am proud to work with employees that display such a willingness to serve." "The sacrifices displayed by the sworn and civilian members of the State Highway Patrol serve as outstanding examples of the unwavering service provided by state employees," Perry said. Freeman is from Lumberton. He began his career in service as an EMT Basic in Robeson County, spending his free time as a volunteer firefighter at Allenton Fire Department. After a few years of service as an EMT, Freeman decided to continue to serve in a different capacity, pursuing a career as a state trooper. In October of 2013, Freeman graduated from Patrol School and began his work in Troop B, District 5 of Bladen County. "My mindset, the mindset of every trooper, is to protect and preserve everything that I can," Freeman said. "Sustaining life is our job."