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Off-Duty Police Officer Saves Overdose Victim In Area

Port Jervis Police Officer Ryan Kievit
Port Jervis Police Officer Ryan Kievit Photo Credit: Port Jervis Police Department

A man was saved from an overdose death by the quick actions of a police officer in the area.

The incident took place on Friday, June 4, in Orange County.

Port Jervis Police Officer Ryan Kievit, while off duty, was traveling in his personal vehicle on Route 6 and observed a pick-up truck stopped perpendicular in the roadway blocking both lanes of travel near a curve in the road, said Chief William Worden.

Kievit got out of his vehicle and approached the truck to check on the driver and found a 25-year-old man who was unresponsive inside the vehicle and a hypodermic needle in view.

Fearing the man was suffering from an opiate overdose, Kievit called 911 and requested emergency services to respond to the scene, Worden said.

The doors to the truck were locked forcing Kievit to forcibly enter the vehicle by breaking a side window. 

After assessing the man, who was not breathing and appeared to have no pulse. Kievit administered several doses of naloxone, placed the man in a recovery position, and continued to render life-saving measures until the victim regained consciousness and was turned over to EMS, the chief said.

"We are extremely proud of Officer Ryan Kievit and commend him for his decisive actions while off-duty which directly resulted in the preservation of this young man's life," said Worden.

Worden said Kievit's prompt assessment of the scene and immediate recognition of the signs of an opiate-related overdose led to the administration of the lifesaving Naloxone which he carried in his personal vehicle. 

"His professionalism and competence can be credited with saving the life of another human being and exemplify the high level of professionalism and service that our citizens expect and deserve from our law enforcement officers, both on and off duty," he added.

Worden said he encourages residents to learn basic life-saving measures to include CPR and becoming trained to carry and administer Naloxone. 

"During times of emergency, minutes matter, and having immediate access to these basic lifesaving tools can truly help preserve a life," Worden said. 

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