• Bill Raines

Troopers Revive Man in Cardiac Distress at Indy 500


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INDIANAPOLIS – JUNE 3, 2022 - Sunday, Indiana State Police troopers, who were working a traffic detail at the Indianapolis 500 were able to revive a race fan who suffered a cardiac episode on Georgetown Road. Sunday, Indiana State Police troopers, who were working a traffic detail at the Indianapolis 500 were able to revive a race fan who suffered a cardiac episode on Georgetown Road.

Sunday at approximately 9:42 a.m., Indiana State Police troopers were directing and monitoring traffic on Georgetown Road for the 106th Indianapolis 500 and were advised a man had collapsed on Georgetown Road south of 25th Street.

Responding troopers found Robert Purgh, 80, Burlington, IA, lying in the street unconscious and not breathing. Troopers and Susanne McAllen, who identified herself as a nurse, started life-saving measures. Trooper Dakota Anderson retrieved his issued Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and Indiana State Police Sergeant Katie Salzman retrieved her issued rescue breathing mask for McAllen to use. Trooper A.J. Coffee applied the AED, and Anderson started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by doing chest compressions. McAllen provided rescue breaths. Anderson administered two rounds of chest compressions and was relieved by Indiana State Police Captain Shea Reliford who performed three additional rounds of chest compressions. A shock was administered from the AED. Before the arrival of medical personnel, Purgh regained a pulse. He was transported to Methodist Hospital. At last check, Purgh is stable, awake, and speaking with hospital staff.

“The AED made all the difference," stated John Fruehling, Purgh’s son-in-law, who was with Purgh. "Doctors said without the AED and CPR, Robert wouldn’t be here."

Troopers receive CPR training every two years.

Most Indiana State Police troopers have an AED to carry in their police cars while on patrol. Many of the AEDs were donated by the Bolt for the Heart organization. Their stated goal is to save as many lives as possible by placing AEDs in all law enforcement patrol cars. More Information can be found about the Bolt for the Heart organization online at https://boltfortheheart.com/.


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