TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) With less than four years of service under his belt, one Shawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy has done something that some law enforcement officers will go their entire career without ever experiencing.
“Honestly, sometimes you get flashbacks of what happened. I can remember what happened that night, it's as clear as day.”
Shawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody McKnight on what goes through his mind after the adrenaline of a traumatic scene fades away. It’s something first responders deal with every day.
“Medical calls happen all the time," said McKnight, "and with us being in the county, and in rural areas, a lot of times we’re going to be first on scene before the fire department is.”
It is not uncommon for a member of the law enforcement community to never be called upon to administer basic life support even one time throughout their entire career. That was not the case for McKnight, who found himself having to perform CPR three times in as many months.
“It’s a very unique situation," said Shawnee County Undersheriff Phil Blume. "The things that may never happen in a career – from my own position, I’ve worked in Law Enforcement for 28 years and have never been in the position to administer CPR.”
McKnight was recognized in May for his life-saving actions with the prestigious Silver Award, an honor reserved for members of law enforcement who perform an extraordinary action that contributes to prolonging or saving a life.
“Their boyfriend or husband was already doing CPR. At that point I checked and she wasn’t breathing, so I continued doing CPR on that person for about three minutes until the fire department showed up," said McKnight.
McKnight’s duties don’t just pause or stop once the patient is turned over to medical crews.
“You are still dealing with family members. We are all human beings and it affects you in many ways," said McKnight.
They say you can learn a lot about somebody by how they deal with stress, and senior officers within the Sheriff’s Office are already taking note.
“He is one of our young and bright officers, and we are very proud to have him in our agency,” said Blume.
Sadly, the other two patients McKnight performed CPR on did not survive.
McKnight is also a second generation Law Enforcement Officer, following in his dad’s footsteps, who is also a Shawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy.