Officers Save Lives on Campus

University police officers Andrew Burde, Ron DeWitt and Jeff Struble were honored in January for saving a man’s life in Partridge Hall in the fall. Responding to a report of a nonresponsive construction worker on November 21, they arrived at Partridge Hall to find that the worker was not breathing.

DeWitt and Burde immediately began CPR. When that didn’t work, Struble shocked the man’s chest with a defibrillator to revive him. The officers continued CPR until EMS transported him to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, where surgeons repaired a heart defect.

Photo of Officer Jeff Struble, Dispatcher Sylvia Sims and Officer Andrew Burde.
Officer Jeff Struble, Dispatcher Sylvia Sims and Officer Andrew Burde. Officer Ron DeWitt is not pictured.

“It was quite a humbling experience to be able to bring someone back to life,” says Burde, a 2008 Montclair State graduate. “My fellow officers and I train to a high level and to provide for the safety and security of our campus community.”

All three officers were honored in January with a Life Saving Award from the University Police Department, and Dispatcher Sylvia Sims was recognized for facilitating the officers’ quick response. “Had it not been for the efforts of these officers, this man would have died,” Captain Kieran Barrett told The Montclarion. “Their quick and decisive action saved a life.”

Saving the construction worker’s life was only part of Struble’s day. He later used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge food stuck in an employee’s airway.

“Our officers take great pride in their service to the community when it comes to emergencies,” says Barrett.