Officers' quick actions save State Fair worker's life

Dallas police officers were honored for saving a life while on duty at the State Fair Classic game at the Cotton Bowl on September 29.

A security worker collapsed and went into cardiac arrest while working at the game. Five Dallas police officers jumped into action to move him quickly through the massive crowds and do CPR. They are credited with saving his life

The State Fair Classic game draws massive crowds to the fair each year. Medical staff at the state fair say if it weren’t for a quick-thinking group of officers getting the patient to first aid within minutes, the outcome could’ve been far worse.

It was opening weekend of the State Fair of Texas plus the State Fair Classic at the Cotton Bowl between Prairie View A&M and Grambling State universities. Dallas police officers had just finished shutting down the area to let the band and football players through.

Right then, a longtime security employee at the fair, who many of the officers knew personally, collapsed while moving a barricade and had no pulse.

“What I remember is looking at his face. It changed color,” recalled Dallas Police Sgt. Willie Ford. “I didn’t see his eyes or anything. And I’d actually thought he’d passed away looking at him.”

They had to act fast, but medical staff couldn’t get through the crowd and barricades. So a group of officers picked up the man and put him on a golf cart and then started CPR.

“I got up here, wrapped my hands around him like this, around his arms,” recalled Officer Scott Ash. “My partner, Daniel, got up and started working on him from this angle as he stood here.”

They were able to get the man as far as they could through the crowd before all five got off to carry him the rest of the way to first aid. That’s where Joe Huffman and his American Medical Response team were waiting.

“If it wasn’t for the fast actions of those police officers, we wouldn’t have had much to work with,” he said.

The fair’s medical staff shocked the man with a defibrillator several times and were eventually able to get him breathing again.

“Any officer would’ve done the same thing,” Ford said. “We don’t think of ourselves as doing anything special because that’s what we sign on to do, and we’re more than willing to do it.”

The man is going to be okay. First responders who’ve been keeping in touch with him say he was able to go home on Friday after spending nearly two weeks in the hospital.