Two officers attending a Police Week ceremony in Washington Wednesday night helped save the life of a police bagpiper who collapsed from a heart attack during the Emerald Society March.
St. Louis County Officer Gary Robertson and Orlando Police Lt. Douglas Goerke rushed to help Lito Lemus, 63, of Schererville, Ind., until an ambulance arrived. Several other officers also helped, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Robertson told D.C.-area reporters he had just given Lemus a bottle of water when Lemus collapsed. He said he and Goerke realized the bagpiper was in cardiac arrest. Robertson said he felt for Lemus' pulse and found none, and immediately began chest compressions. Goerke said he and Robertson worked together to help Lemus even though they didn't know each other.
"With all the medical training we do, we go by national standards," Goerke told NBC's WRC-TV in Washington. "When we look, I can see what he's doing and know exactly where he is, when I move somewhere else I know exactly what I'm going to be doing, so it's a seamless transition." CPR and an automated defibrillator were used on the man.
Orlando Police Department motor units, who also participated in the activities, escorted the ambulance to the hospital, according to WKMG TV in Orlando.
Lemus was rushed into surgery. He was awake and responsive Wednesday night and is expected to recover.