New Chicago officer saves life of Hammond man at gym

2012-11-04T21:30:00Z 2012-11-16T14:11:05Z New Chicago officer saves life of Hammond man at gymBy Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

NEW CHICAGO | New Chicago police officer Michael Haney is credited with saving the life of a 22-year-old Hammond man, Police Chief Tim Lucas said.

"The town is extremely proud of him," Lucas said.

The Hammond man, recuperating at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, was working out in a free weights area at Charter Fitness in Hobart when he collapsed on the floor, manager George Almedina Jr. said.

"He was not responsive. He was pretty much gone," Almedina said.

Almedina declined to give the name of the man.

Haney, who also serves as a full-time Hobart firefighter/paramedic, responded to a cardiac arrest call last week at Charter Fitness on U.S. 6.

Haney administered CPR and, using a defibrillator in the health club, brought the man back to life, Lucas said.

Lucas said he plans to recommend Haney for a lifesaving award at both the local and county level.

New Chicago Councilman Philip Mores said he's proud of the officer.

"We are proud of all our officers, but when one performs a selfless act like this, we are honored to say he is one of our own," Mores said.

Haney, a  30-year-old Valparaiso resident, said he had been eating his dinner at the end of his shift when he heard a call over his police scanner.

He arrived at the health club, just a short distance away, to find a young man down and fully gone.

"He was gone; no breathing and no pulse," Haney said.

Haney and Hobart firefighter/EMT Frank Pukoszek said they began working to revive the young man with compressions then were handed the automated extenal defibrillator by health club officials.

"That's the first I've seen anyone come back like that," Pukoszek said.

Haney said he believes it was the shock from the defibrillator that did the trick.

"The shock restarted his heart ... The kid was back from the dead," Haney said.

Haney, who has served as a police officer for one year and a firefighter/paramedic for four years, said he enjoys helping others.

"My family members are all either police, firefighters or teachers, all helping others. This is what I do and I love it ... basically out there serving others," Haney said.

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