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Officer Damian Dambra was working overtime on the 2062 TAC team with Ser- geant Mark Struke when they heard a call on the police radio regarding an EMS job on Jan. 21. Dispatchers were giving the victim’s partner instructions on how to perform CPR and compressions.
The officers were just five blocks away. Dambra immediately stepped on the gas and arrived on scene with Struke to find the victim on the ground with his partner trying to rescue him.
“[The victim] was as gray as the side- walk,” Dambra recalled. “And I’ve seen my fair share of dead bodies.”
Dambra noticed that the partner was administering compressions slightly too high on the chest.
“You got to get on that sternum,” he explained. “So I said, ‘You want me to take over? It looks like you’re a little over- whelmed.’”
While Dambra started compressions, Struke updated the radio on their prog- ress. Then the fire department arrived and forced the victim’s eyes open.
“His eyes were blown,” Dambra said. “[The firefighter] is like, ‘Yeah, this guy’s dead.’”
Still, Dambra, who has served 14 years on the job, wasn’t going to give up now. With the help of paramedics, he contin- ued to work on the victim while asking
his partner for more information and health history, including any use of nar- cotics in the past.
“They said he used to do heroin,” he remembered. “So they hit him with Nar- can and I just kept pumping him. Then [the paramedics] said, ‘Hold on for a sec- ond.’”
The victim’s heart rate was back, and he took in a massive breath of air. He was stable by the time paramedics took the victim and his partner to Swedish Hos- pital.
The officers learned that the victim had been experiencing shortness of breath and had struggled with respirato- ry issues for quite some time. The part- ners were actually en route to the hospi- tal when the victim collapsed in the car.
It just so happened that Dambra and Struke were close by to bring the victim back to life. And Dambra doesn’t take that perfect timing lightly.
“You never know what can happen,” Dambra said. “And we were just at the right place at the right time.”
Tactical officer performs lifesaving CPR on sidewalk
  Officers in 012 offer computers to families
  Officers in 012 partnered with the Department of Family and Support Services for a computer giveaway event on Jan. 15. The computer distribution was a way of giving back to families in need of new electronics in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Officers in 014 and 015 help feed Chicago residents
Officers in 014 and 015 assisted residents experiencing food scarcity in January. At the 15th District parking lot on Jan. 22, boxes of food—including produce, starches, canned goods and cooking oil were displayed on a table for residents to take what they needed. Meanwhile, officers in 014 helped to distribute groceries to residents at the Chicago Hope Food Pantry on Jan. 13.

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