By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When Philadelphia Police officers Timothy Straus and Jeffrey Lendzinski heard the “Assist Officer” call early on the morning of November 30th, they raced toward 7th and Loudon Streets in Logan.
What they found came as a shock: fellow Officer Michael Gwynn, a father of two children, lay unconscious from a heart attack, his arms still locked around the suspect he was battling.
Officer Straus, who had just completed a CPR refresher course that day, helped Officer Lendzinski put the stricken 31-year-old into the backseat. Then, as Strous drove fast, but very carefully, Officer Lindzinski squeezed into the cramped back seat and, atop his fellow officer, began performing CPR.
As Straus radioed conditions to Einstein Medical Center blocks away, the sound of life returned – Officer Gwynn began breathing.
Officer Lendzinski continued the CPR and, minutes after Officer Gwynn was brought into the emergency room, doctors emerged, confirming he would survive.
After several anxious days, still more good news: the officer would fully recover, returning to his wife and children in time for Christmas.
The officers, who commanders say have already been nominated for departmental commendations, revealed that when they first were able to talk with Gwynn, his first question: “Did we get the suspect?”
They did. And the officers also gave their fellow policeman the most precious gift of all this holiday season: the gift of life.