RRSTAR: Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy, Firefighter Trained by Mercyhealth on AEDs Recognized for Heroism

ROCKFORD — Northwest Fire Deputy Chief Ryan Alms arrived over the weekend on the scene of a medical call to find Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Ferruzza running and toting an automated external defibrillator.

Both men entered a building to find a senior citizen without a pulse and not breathing. The person was moved to the floor where they established an airway, performed CPR and connected the senior to the AED. Over the next 17 minutes, the AED delivered four shocks and the two men continued CPR. The senior regained consciousness and was talking before being placed in an ambulance.

“Because of the quick actions and lifesaving efforts by Deputy Chief Alms and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy Ferruzza, the patient is alive,” said Winnebago County Deputy Chief Dominick Barcellona. ”… It was truly a job well done.”

Barcellona shared the story of the first-responders’ heroic efforts during an award presentation Thursday held before family and colleagues at the Winnebago County Justice Center.

Sheriff Gary Caruana presented Ferruzza with the department’s Lifesaving pin and Alms was presented with a letter of commendation.

Ferruzza was trained by Mercyhealth Prehospital and Emergency Services paramedic educators in the use of first aid, CPR and AEDs, a portable lifesaving device that sends an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. All sheriff’s patrol deputies are trained to use AEDs every two years and carry them in their patrol vehicles, said Dr. John Pakiela, a Mercyhealth physician and REACT medical director.

The sheriff also recognized 15 deputies who have attained the rank of senior deputy.

A senior deputy must have at least 10 years of uninterrupted service with the Sheriff’s Department as a merited deputy and pass a written and oral interview conducted by the Sheriff’s Merit Commission.

To read the original report, click here.

Mercyhealth MyChart Sign In