“I do owe my life to that officer,” said businessman Tony Wright, 78, of Lincoln.
In June, Gaines responded to a 911 medical emergency at the Mattress Store on U.S. 231 South.
“My sister-in-law (Patty Hodge) was scared to death,” Wright said, adding that all of his information was second-hand.
Wright had suffered a heart attack and was unconscious and unresponsive when Gaines arrived on the scene after routine traffic patrol.
“It’s never routine,” Gaines said.
Instincts took over when the veteran officer, who has only been with the Pell City Police Department for seven months, arrived at the mattress store.
“It’s sort of like you go on autopilot, let your training take over,” Gaines said. “You trust your training.”
Gaines administered CPR until the city’s medical personnel arrived.
“Officer Gaines immediately responded and provided lifesaving CPR until medical and ambulance services arrived,” Police Chief Greg Turley said. “According to the friends and family of Mr. Wright, officer Gaines presented an unwavering “take charge” command presence yet conducted himself with humility, empathy and professionalism during the entire event. Without a doubt, officer Gaines’ actions saved the life of Mr. Anthony Wright.”
Mayor Joe Funderburg said this is a perfect example of what police officers do every day in the line of duty, although Gaines went beyond the call of duty.
“It was a tremendous act,” Funderburg said.
Wright said it took him four months to fully recover, but he has has and is back at the mattress store.
“It’s a euphoric feeling to know you helped saved a life,” Gaines said.
Funderburg also presented Gaines a proclamation at Monday’s council meeting commending the officer for his outstanding work and actions that helped saved a human life.
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com.