While scandals and security concerns have dominated the news over the last few weeks, several members of the U.S. Capitol Police have performed heroic acts that went largely unnoticed.
On Oct. 1 at approximately 5:30 p.m., Officer Adam Greenwell saw a man fall off his bike and collapse at the top of Southwest Drive near Independence Avenue SW.
He quickly radioed for help.
After hearing the radio call, Officer Ryan McCamley arrived on the scene. When he and Greenwell saw that the 41-year-old man was beginning to have a seizure and that a civilian’s attempt to revive the man was failing, McCamley ran to the House door of the Capitol to get an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Officer Christopher McGoff, a trained emergency technician, arrived soon after and checked the man’s vital signs.
“I realized that he was not breathing sufficiently to sustain life,” he told The Hill in an interview yesterday.
After attempting rescue breathing, McGoff determined that the man needed the AED. After using the defibrillator, McGoff and Greenwell began administering CPR. After the first shock the man’s heart began to beat. Then it stopped.
“He stopped breathing three times,” McCamley said. “We had to shock him twice.”
According to Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, officers then applied the AED paddles again, and successfully restarting the man’s heart. He was then transported to a nearby hospital. McCamley said a friend of the man called officers later to inform them that the injured man would make a full recovery.
“Everyone did a fabulous job,” McGoff said.
Schneider commended the officers for saving the man’s life.
“Doctors say that if officers weren’t there at that time, he could’ve died,” she said.
A month earlier Officer James Todd worked quickly to try and bring Riana Ramoutar into the world.
Lolita Jones-Ramoutar said Todd must have known something was wrong on Sept. 11 this year when he saw her family’s vehicles pulled off to the side of the road near Fourth and E Street NE.
At the time, Jones-Ramoutar stood “delirious” with pain, leaning against a parked car on the side of the road , she said.
“I couldn’t move … I was trembling, resting against the bumper of the car,” she said.
Jones-Ramoutar, of Washington, D.C., had just been sent home from Washington Hospital Center after the doctor had released her saying she was in premature labor and giving her a prescription for pain medication.
Her aunt, Shirley Byrd-Shako, had picked up Jones-Ramoutar’s son from school and on the way home, her husband, Robert Ramoutar, offered to drop her off at Byrd-Shako’s car so that she could go home and fill her prescription.
Jones-Ramoutar agreed, but once she left her husband’s car, she could no longer sit down.
It was then that Todd drove by and noticed something was wrong.
“Officer Todd immediately took control,” Jones-Ramoutar said, describing how he informed them that they could not make it to the hospital in the car and then radioed for an ambulance.
“He told me he had several children and [understood that] we needed to get to a hospital immediately,” Jones-Ramoutar said.
Todd could not be reached for comment.
Jones-Ramoutar, who has chronic hypertension, explained that the situation was particularly dire because she and the baby needed to be treated with antibiotics prior to giving birth.
“I don’t know what would have happened had he just driven by,” she said.
Jones-Ramoutar said Todd stayed with the family until the ambulance came, repeatedly telling Byrd-Shako, who was on the phone with Jones-Ramoutar’s doctor, that everything was going to be fine and that he was going to take care of them.
Jones-Ramoutar said the ambulance arrived at 4:46 p.m., and at 5:53 p.m. Riana was born.
Jones-Ramoutar said the family had not met Todd and was in the process of trying to reach him to thank him for the assistance.
“Anything could have happened if we hadn’t made it to the hospital,” she said. “We are so grateful.”