“I suppose it’s nice to be recognized, but the outcome was certainly not what you would want,” said Plymouth Police Sergeant Gary Cleveland who was honored by a commendation by Plymouth Chief of Police Jim Cox and by a proclamation by Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter.
Twice in the month of February Cleveland was called to the scene where an infant was discovered not breathing. In each case Cleveland immediately administered CPR to the infant and his efforts along with those of paramedics were able to revive vital signs in each child. In each case however the child was determined to be brain dead several days later at the hospital and taken off respirators.
In the most recent case the efforts to revive the infant allowed parents to make the decision to make their child a donor in hopes of saving another child’s life.
“It’s the kind of call that when you get it, it stirs something deep in your heart, especially if you have kids of your own,” said Cleveland. “It gives you a special sense of urgency to get there quickly. That baby is depending on you. That baby is depending on the whole world to be there for them and that makes you want to get there as quickly as you can.
“None of us (emergency personnel) are looking for that kind of recognition. Nobody does this job for that reason. They do it because of a deep sense inside of them to always be there for the community. It’s part of who they are.”
A graduate of Plymouth High School and a veteran of the Air Force, Cleveland has been a Plymouth Police Officer for the last 18 years. It was in the Air Force that Cleveland first learned CPR and part of his ongoing training with Plymouth PD includes regular refresher courses on the procedure. It’s a skill that he urges everybody to learn.
“People should absolutely learn CPR,” he said. “It’s only a matter of time before a loved one may need that kind of help.”
Provided by the Plymouth Alumni Assoc.
Proclamation, City of Plymouth, March 14, 2011
WHEREAS, Congratulations and citations are in order for Sgt. Gary Cleveland for prolonging the lives of two infants in a five-week period through emergency resuscitation efforts; and,
WHEREAS, Both infants were revived and thereby afforded intensive medical attention; and,
WHEREAS, Several officers of the Plymouth Police Department stated that Sgt. Cleveland did everything humanly possible prior to the arrival of emergency medical personnel; but,
WHEREAS, Unfortunately, more comprehensive medical services were ultimately unsuccessful in both cases. However, the lives of other children have been positively impacted as a result of organ donations; and,
WHEREAS, Sgt. Cleveland’s quick actions and response are a reflection of his leadership, training, and dedication to his profession.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mark Senter, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor, and on behalf of the Board of Public Works & Safety, the Common Council and all our citizens, tender this Proclamation to Sgt. Gary Cleveland for his heroic deeds.