Its not being called the Heimlich maneuver any more. Its now known as the
But whatever you call it, Sgt. Randy Komisarcik of the Chesterton Police
Department knows how to perform it. And last month he used the abdominal
thrust to save the life of a Chesterton Middle School seventh-grader.
On Thursday the Police Commission honored Komisarcik with the departments
Lifesaving Award, presented by Police Chief Dave Cincoski.
Komisarcik is the CPDs designated school resource officer, and on Feb. 9,
while on duty at CMS, he was approached by several students who told him
that a friend of theirs was "sick and needed help," Cincoski said as he was
presenting the award.
"Sgt. Komisarcik, amidst the panic and confusion of the students around him,
was able to correctly determine that the student was not sick but was, in
fact, choking on a piece of food," Cincoski said. "Sgt. Komisarcik proceeded
to perform abdominal thrusts, otherwise known as the Heimlich maneuver, on
the student and successfully dislodged a portion of the students lunch that
was obviously too large to swallow. In the words of CMS Registered Nurse
Marie Kirchner, Sgt. Komisarciks quick response saved this students life."
"Sgt. Komisarcik would tell you that he was just doing his job," Cincoski
added. "However, no matter how well you are trained or what certifications
you have, it still takes a special person to act calmly, professionally, and
correctly at the right time."
Cincoski presented Komisarcik with a medal, a uniform pin, and a
certificate, and said that a letter of commendation would be placed in his
President Craig Stafford—also known as CMS Principal—voiced his particular
gratitude to Komisarcik. "It was something that had to be done without
panic," he said.
Perhaps the highest praise for Komisarcik, however, came from the mother of
one of three young men also honored on Thursday—for their heroism in pulling
a woman from a car only moments before it was struck by a freight train—Tawnee
Paliga. "Its ironic that Officer Randy is also being recognized tonight,"
she said. "Dustin has always looked up to him since Middle School. Youve
always been one of his inspirations."
In other business, Cincoski reported that the "financial stance of the
town"—which isnt so hot at the moment, after the Indiana Department of Local
Government Finance ordered $270,000 cut from the towns 2011 budget—has
forced him to put the hiring process temporarily on hold.
Cincoski, who said that he has informed all candidates of the delay, is
hoping that a new hire can be put on the departments roster sometime in July
Meanwhile, members voted 2-0, at Cincoskis recommendation, to release from
probationary status three officers promoted to sergeant last year:
Komisarcik, Det. Don Maloney, and Chris Swickard.
Cincoski also reported that he has received three letters expressing
gratitude for services rendered by CPD officers:
•From Geminus Head Start, for Det. Jamie Copollos assistance.
•From Duneland Schools Security Officer Steve Rohe, for Komisarciks help
•From Globe Star, for the response of numerous officers last month, when a
man residing on 18th Street reportedly battered his Globe Star caregiver and
fought with officers called to the scene, biting the hand of one of them.
In February the
CPD responded to 1,122 calls, filed 36 cases, filed seven felony charges and
42 misdemeanor, issued 61 citations and 122 warnings, and investigated 37
accidents with 11 injuries.
Also in February
the CPD assigned 33 juvenile cases and closed 29 of them.
service included 49 alarms, eight animal complaints, five reports of
battery, 15 disturbances, one domestic call, five reports of fraud, seven
miscellaneous juvenile complaints, six noise complaints, 10 parking
violations, six residence checks, 16 suspicious circumstances, 12 suspicious
persons, 25 suspicious vehicles, 19 thefts, 198 traffic stops, four
incidents of vandalism, and four vehicle repossessions.