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Sgt. Ricardo McCants, second from left, Officer Jeff Landrom and Officer Shannon DeFazio received lifesaving medals for assistance to residents Chris Snipes, at left, and Tracy Snipes, at right. CONTRIBUTED

DeFazio, Landrom and McCants in MPD earn lifesaving medals

MADISON – Sgt. Ricardo McCants, Officer Shannon DeFazio and Officer Jeff Landrom with Madison Police Department received lifesaving medals because of their care for a Madison resident who suffered a near-fatal cardiac emergency.

Acting Police Chief John Stringer presented the awards to the Madison Police Department officers at the Madison City Council meeting on March 8.

Unlike many people in the workforce on Feb. 16, McCants, Landrom and DeFazio did not receive an email message that stated work was cancelled due to a Winter Weather Warning. These police officers had reported for duty on Feb .16 as the winter storm approached; they realized that getting a day off for a weather day was not an option for them.

Meanwhile, Madison residents Chris Snipes and wife Tracy, married for 25 years, started the morning “as an icy day off that would be extraordinary beyond any snowstorm that could have been predicted,” Stringer said.

Normally, Chris would have gone to his fitness center and then to work as a Program Manager for the U.S. Army. “But on this icy, cold morning, Chris was in his kitchen when he suddenly collapsed. Hearing him fall, Tracy ran to his aid and found him unresponsive on the floor,” Stringer said.

Tracy immediately dialed 911 and began chest compressions on Chris. “Brief minutes became what seemed like hours waiting to hear the wail of sirens bringing help, but Tracy continued CPR until Madison Police officers arrived,” Stringer said.

“Officer Jeff Landrom immediately jumped into action. Tracy ‘saw the size of his arms’ and knew Chris was in good hands,” Stringer said. “Without hesitation, Officer Landrum, Officer Shannon DeFazio and Sgt. Ricardo McCants began lifesaving measures to keep Chris alive until HEMSI and Madison Fire and Rescue personnel could arrive on scene.”

Chris was transported by ambulance to the hospital and placed on “hypothermic protocol” for two days to allow his heart to recover from ventricular fibrillation. After three days under this protocol, Chris finally was able to Zoom call Tracy. Chris still cannot remember the events that occurred on Feb. 16.

Landrum, DeFazio and McCants were starting their shift when Tracy Snipes’ 911 call for help came in 30 minutes later. “Landrom recalls replaying the entire call in his head and worrying if he had ‘done it all right.’ Tracy Snipes says he definitely did everything right, and just his calm presence brought her peace and confidence in his abilities,” Stringer said.

As Chris was transported to the hospital that icy morning, Landrom drove Tracy to the hospital but not knowing if his efforts had been successful or if he might be driving into a situation that was even more difficult. Fortunately, the efforts of Tracy, the 911 call taker, Madison police officers, Madison Fire and Rescue and HEMSI personnel all worked together seamlessly to get Chris to the hospital where he received lifesaving care.

“On March 1, a mere 13 days after surviving a near-fatal cardiac emergency, Chris and Tracy Snipes came into the Madison Police Department to show their gratitude and appreciation to the officers credited with saving Chris’ life,” Stringer said. “It is not often that officers get to see the benefit of their commitment and hard work, but on this day, it was very clear that their training and dedication paid off.”

“Madison Police Department was honored to present Officer Jeff Landrom, Officer Shannon DeFazio and Sgt. Ricardo McCants with a Lifesaving Medal at the City Council meeting held March 8,” Stringer said. “Thank you to Chris and Tracy Snipes for allowing us the privilege of serving you and sharing your story.”

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