INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — An Indian River County deputy is being praised for saving a man who overdosed on heroin in front of young children.
The rescue is also highlighting a newer tool being used by deputies to help them better prepare for high-stress, emotional calls.
Before deputies used Live911, they could see a 911 call was coming in but they couldn't hear it.
Live911 is a system installed in every patrol car that allows deputies to hear the calls, gauge the emotions and the tension of a potential scene, and respond with a better idea of what they’re heading into.
During a recent overdose call, Sgt. Michael Dilks was the first at the scene. He heard the emergency call come into 911 dispatch first-hand.
"I knew based on the way the female was talking that this gentleman was not responsive. I could hear the cries for help, 'Please hurry, please hurry,'" Dilks said. "It just allows us to get more mentally prepared, I believe, as we arrive."
Additionally, he can hear the call before dispatchers relay the information, helping deputies potentially get to the scene seconds or minutes faster.
"I heard he's not breathing. I was able to respond before the call was dispatched," Dilks said.
When he arrived at the scene, he saw the man's sister doing CPR. He was able to take over CPR and administer two rounds of Narcan.
"I've been to probably a hundred overdoses and normally they're in some kind of condition we can work with. This gentleman didn’t appear like he was going to be alright when I got there," Dilks said.
However, he became responsive after the second dose.
Deputies can at times respond faster to medical emergencies than an ambulance, making Live911 beneficial in life-threatening situations.
"I was able to give the second dose of Narcan as the paramedics were getting there and at that point, he started to breathe," Dilks said.
The man was revived, taken to the hospital, and is expected to make a full recovery.
Dilks also said they want people to call 911 for overdoses without hesitating over fears of facing drug charges.
He said they are only worried about saving a life and will likely provide resources for help with substance abuse.
According to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, anyone struggling with drug usage or knows someone who is struggling is encouraged to seek help by calling the Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County at 772-770-4811.