Hanahan school resource officer may have saved man’s life on the way to work Thursday

Berkeley County News

HANAHAN, S.C. (WCBD) – Quick thinking by a Hanahan school resource officer may have saved a man’s life.

Sgt. John Gombar is an SRO at Hanahan Middle School. On his way to work early Thursday morning, he stopped to help a man who was not breathing and had no pulse.

“I was on my way into work. I normally come into work about an hour and a half early every morning. As I was traveling, I heard a call go out for a person that was unconscious- possibly not breathing,” he explained.

The patient was near where he was, so he immediately stopped to help.

“When I went inside, I found a gentleman who was unconscious and not breathing.”

He began CPR and used an AED he carries with him, an AED recently donated by Firehouse Subs.

“The AED analyzed said no shock advised,” he recalled. “My AED has a display screen so I could see what heart rhythm he was in.”

The man’s heart began beating.

“As I was finishing up with my two minutes of CPR, the Hanahan Fire Department arrived and started assisting with advanced care.”

Fast responses like this and new training methods are saving lives.

“We’re seeing higher survivability rates return and spontaneous circulation and things of that nature,” said Assistant Chief Michael Bergeron with the Hanahan Fire Department.

The man-made it to the hospital because of the team. Gombar says he is not unique.

“EMS and fire, they go out on calls every single day. They are resuscitating somebody, getting good outcomes and all. It’s just what we do.”

It’s true. While shooting this interview, a man walked into the fire station with a stack of pizzas, just to say:

“I want to thank Hanahan EMS for coming and saving my wife,” said George Morris, whose wife was saved earlier this week.

“Excellent service between them and the neighbor and the surgeon… they saved her.”

It’s just what they do.

“I love the community. I love what I do, and I love providing patient care.”

We don’t have any information on the current medical state of the man Sgt. Gumbar helped but we do know he made it to the hospital.

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