On February 22, a Fishers police officer saved the life of a 12-year-old boy after he collapsed during a basketball game at Fishers Junior High School.
Sergeant Troy Fettinger was conducting a security check at FJHS when he observed a 12-year-old boy collapse while playing basketball. Sergeant Fettinger immediately radioed for medics and additional police officers. Sergeant Fettinger rushed onto the court and found the boy was unresponsive and not breathing. A Community Hospital emergency room doctor came out of the crowd to assist and CPR was initiated. Sergeant Fettinger ran to his police vehicle, retrieved his Automated External Defibrillator and returned to the boy. Sergeant Fettinger placed the AED pads on the boy and a shock was advised. One shock was delivered and CPR continued until paramedics from Fishers Department of Fire and EMS arrived and transported the boy to IU Health at Saxony Hospital. A heartbeat returned and the boy began to breathe on his own. At the hospital the boy became more responsive and later in the day was transported to Riley Children’s Hospital where he continues to recover.
Dr. Arora, emergency room doctor at IU Health, downloaded and reviewed the information from the AED. The information confirmed that the boy went into a lethal heart rhythm known as ventricular fibrillation. The only way the boy would survive was rapid defibrillation. Sergeant Fettinger’s actions of quickly retrieving his AED, applying it, and providing a life- saving defibrillation shock saved the boy’s life. When the boy’s mother arrived at the emergency room Dr. Arora introduced her to Sergeant Fettinger and stated, “This officer saved your child’s life.”
Chief of Police George Kehl and Fire Chief Steve Orusa both believe immediate intervention is critical in providing the best chance of survival in a sudden cardiac event. For the past several years the Fishers Police Department has provided each officer with an AED as a part of their standard issued equipment.
Since this incident Sergeant Fettinger has kept in contact with the Tsetse family and visited Joel in the hospital. In an e-mail addressed to Chief Kehl, Mr. David Tsetse stated, in part, “It was the timely intervention and most importantly the professionalism of Officer Troy that saved his [Joel’s] life.” Mr. Tsetse also thanked the assisting police officers and the paramedics for their efforts.