St. George Police officer honored for performing life-saving CPR on unresponsive man

Bystanders and first responders, including St. George Police officer Antonio Brown, work to help an unresponsive driver on Brigham Road, St. George, Utah, Aug. 12, 2020 | File photo courtesy of Ty Empey, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A St. George Police officer has been recognized for using CPR to help save a man’s life.

Officer Antonio Brown was honored with a Lifesaving Award at the police department’s headquarters in St. George last week. Standing alongside Brown for the medal presentation was none other than Bill Erickson, the man whose life he helped save a couple of months earlier.

Erickson was a Hurricane Family Pharmacy delivery driver who suddenly went unresponsive while in traffic on Brigham Road the afternoon of Aug. 12 and was subsequently pulled from his vehicle by bystanders.

Brown had been heading home from work after his shift that afternoon when he saw several vehicles stopped in the road ahead, according to a Facebook post by the St. George Police Department.

Several bystanders had stopped to help Erickson, who had reportedly suffered a heart attack and wasn’t breathing. 

St. George Police officer Antonio Brown holds his lifesaving award while standing alongside Bill Erickson and his wife Krista Erickson, St. George, Utah, October 2020 | Photo courtesy of St. George Police Department, St. George News

“Officer Brown was able to get Bill breathing again after performing CPR,” the police department’s post stated.

The type of heart blockage, in the main left artery, is often referred to as the “widowmaker,” according to Erickson’s cardiologist, who explained that the survival rate for patients with such a blockage is less than 3% when bystanders are performing CPR.

“They (the doctors) credited Officer Brown’s first responder CPR as directly saving Bill’s life,” the police department’s post added.

The statement commended Brown for his actions, saying they reflect his personal commitment to serving the citizens of the community. 

“Thank you for making a life-changing difference during the performance of your duties,” the statement concluded.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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