Watch CBS News

Chicago Police Recruit Saves The Life Of A Man Who Was Hit By A Minivan

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Police recruit Timothy Sweeney was on his way to buy a blueberry pie for his grandmother on Sunday when he spotted a man who had been hit by a minivan. He jumped into action, and put his medical and rescue training into action to save a life.

"This was just an incidence of being in the right place at the right time," Sweeney said.

Sweeney said he and his wife were on the way to his grandmother's house Sunday morning, and his wife wanted to get coffee, so he turned left instead of right at the intersection of Chicago and Ashland.

When he parked the car to go get a pie for his grandmother, he saw a man lying in the street who had been hit by a minivan.

Sweeney said he secured the man's head and spine to keep him stable, and noticed the man had bright red blood visible on his leg, a clear sign of a severed artery. So he used a bystander's belt to create a makeshift tourniquet.

"I didn't have a tourniquet on me at the time. I didn't have a belt on me at the time. I asked someone if they had a belt on them. One gentleman gave me his belt. I applied the belt and got it as tight as I could," he said.

Chicago Police Recruit Saves Pedestrian Pinned Between Cars

Chicago Police Department recruit Timothy Sweeney put his medical and rescue training to good use on Sunday, when he saved a man who had been struck by a car.

Posted by CBS Chicago on Friday, July 5, 2019

When two on-duty police officers arrived on the scene, Sweeney was able to replace the belt with an actual tourniquet, and talked to the man to keep him calm until paramedics arrived.

"I was making sure that just to get his mind off of the injury that he had," he said. "He was worried about his cell phone at the time."

When medics arrived a short time later, they took the man to the nearest hospital.

"We finally got our pie, me and the wife afterwards, for grandma," Sweeney said.

Sweeney had just completed the LEMART program at the Chicago Police Academy two weeks earlier. In the program, officers learn the same kind of first aid skills taught to soldiers to prevent deaths in combat.

The course includes hands-on training in immediate care of traumatic injuries to make sure someone can make it to a hospital for surgery.

"There's more to this job than just enforcing the law. It's about saving lives, helping people at any time, day or night," CPD Education and Training Division Deputy Chief Kevin Johnson said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.