CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A pair of University of Illinois police officers are being credited by their superiors with saving a man’s life on Saturday and then promptly going back to their normal routines for the Illini Homecoming game.
U of I Police Department officials said the officers’ life-saving actions took place in the area surrounding Memorial Stadium. Amidst the pregame festivities for the game against Wisconsin, officials said a man went into cardiac arrest two hours before kickoff.
When first responders were notified, Officers Tara Hurless and Chris Williams were the closest to where the emergency was happening, and they responded immediately. Providing CPR and using a defibrillator, officials said the officers were able to get the man’s heart rate back into rhythm.
Paramedics later took over and transported the man to the hospital. He was awake and alert when he arrived, officials said.
Once the man was on his way to the hospital, Hurless and Williams went back to work. Within an hour, officials said they were inside Memorial Stadium to ensure the safety of the largest crowd of the season: 54,205.
Police officials said that this was the fifth cardiac arrest on the U of I campus since 2018. Of those, four of the patients were awake and talking by the time they reached an ambulance.
Also in 2018, the university was recognized as a HEARTSafe campus for the UIPD’s efforts in training people in CPR and ensuring defibrillators are within reach.