Arkansas City Police Department Officer Matt Mayo has been recognized for his service to Arkansas City more than once this year.

In addition to being recognized as Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1254’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, he was named ACPD’s September Employee of the Month.

Mayo was recognized for a call during which he helped to save the life of an Arkansas City resident.

On Dec. 19, he was given a special award during a City Commission meeting for his life-saving efforts.

ACPD Capt. Mark McCaslin pinned a special “Life Saving Award” bar onto Mayo’s uniform to commemorate this achievement.

Code blue compressions

On Sept. 25, Mayo and McCaslin were called to the home of Arkansas City resident Kenneth Roberts.

The initial call was “code blue,” which signifies the individual in need of help is in cardiac arrest and not breathing.

“It was apparent that he was not breathing normally and (was) not doing well at the time,” McCaslin said.

Both officers attempted to find a pulse and stimulate Roberts with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), with no success.

“Matt began compressions and continued compressions until EMS arrived,” McCaslin said.

“After EMS arrived, Officer Mayo stayed at (Roberts’) side and continued life-saving efforts with EMS.”

Due to the efforts of the first responders, Roberts’ condition improved from code blue to code red, or critical.

EMS indicated that Mayo’s quick application of CPR should be credited for Robert’s survival, according to McCaslin.

Mayo grateful for save

“Honestly, (I) don’t remember what was going through my head,” Mayo recalled about the incident.

“I just knew he wasn’t with us, and we needed to try and do what we could until EMS got there.”

Mayo is not alone in his abilities to perform CPR — all ACPD officers undergo regular CPR training.

Nor was this the first time he had performed CPR in the line of duty.

“Part of being in law enforcement or a first responder is you deal with people dying more than the average person, so you become a little more callused so it doesn’t affect you as much,” Mayo said.

“But now, after meeting Kenneth and talking to him afterwards, it kind of puts it more in perspective.”

“Just makes you stop and realize that it could happen at any time, and to appreciate what you have now,” he added. “We were very fortunate that it turned out the way it did. So many times, it doesn’t.”

A whisper of life

Roberts was on hand Dec. 19 to express his gratitude to Mayo in front of the City Commission.

“I’d like to say, ‘Thank you,’ but that doesn’t seem to be enough. I was basically dead,” Roberts said.

“Officer Mayo was (there, and) between him, God and the fire department, I was given a second chance.”

Roberts still is recovering from the ordeal and his voice is little more than a whisper now.

“Listening to Kenneth Roberts talk last night, you could truly hear his appreciation for life and what happened on that day,” Mayo said.