Polk County Sheriff’s deputies don’t just fight crime and arrest criminals – they are first responders, often the first personnel on the scene of tragedy. Here is just one example of the many ways PCSO deputies go above and beyond the law enforcement call of duty:
Around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21st, 35-year-old Deputy Sheriff Benjamin Kirkpatrick, who has been with the agency 2.5 years and is assigned to the Northwest District, responded to an “assist other agency” call at 2530 Chestnut Woods Drive in Lakeland. The “other agency” Deputy Kirkpatrick was assisting was Polk County Fire and EMS. They had received a 911 call for a Medical Emergency, in reference to a 10-month-old baby who was choking.
D/S Kirkpatrick was the first responder to the scene. When he arrived, he located the baby boy, who was choking and unable to breathe and in his mother’s arms. D/S Kirkpatrick took the baby from his mother, noted that his airway was completely blocked, and then performed the Heimlich procedure to remove the obstruction. After several attempts, the sunflower seeds that were lodged in the baby’s throat were dislodged, and the baby began to breathe. When EMS arrived, they stabilized the baby and transported him to LRMC as a precaution.
“Law enforcement officers, Fire, and EMS personnel perform actions like this on a daily basis that often go unnoticed and without thanks,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “In this incident, what could have been an unthinkable tragedy instead is an inspirational story. Deputy Sheriff Kirkpatrick will receive a commendation for his actions, but I know that his real reward is returning a happy healthy baby back to his family. This is just one example of how the jobs our deputies, and all first responders, do are priceless.”