Wood Dale Officer Receives Lifesaving Award Thanks to Quick Actions and Teamwork
While every police officer swears an oath to protect citizens’ lives, it isn’t every day they see the immediate, tangible results of that dedication. However, for Officer Jessica Zurawski, a recent call gave her the opportunity to directly save a Wood Dale resident’s life. In recognition of her quick response and actions, the Wood Dale Police Department presented Officer Zurawski with its highest honor, the Lifesaving Award at the April 5 City Council meeting.
“The Lifesaving Award is presented by an awards committee made of the officer’s peers and command staff, and only comes after a thorough review to ensure it meets the highest of standards,” said Wood Dale Police Chief Greg Vesta. “The honor comes from knowing your colleagues voted for you based on your actions.”
On February 9, heavy snow blanketed the Wood Dale area, and at approximately 6 a.m., a call was received regarding Susan Jarosz, a 52-year-old resident found unconscious in the snow after clearing her driveway. Officer Zurawski arrived on the scene within one minute of the 911 call, while the dispatcher kept the caller on the line and gave instructions to check vital signs.
According to Zurawski, the woman was not breathing, had no pulse and showed no signs of life. Zurawski quickly began performing CPR. Along with assistance from Officer Mike Campbell and the citizen who made the 911 call, she was able to revive Jarosz by the time the Fire Department arrived moments later. Paramedics noted that she showed a pulse and was breathing when they arrived.
“This starts with good training thanks to our partnership with the Wood Dale Fire Protection District,” said Vesta. “Thanks to smooth operations and the CPR instruction our officers receive, Officer Zurawski was able to act on her training and save a life. We’re all very proud of her.”
Jarosz was transported to nearby Alexian Brothers Hospital, where staff also commended Officer Zurawski and nominated her to receive an American Heart Association award.
Lisa Alimissis, the Addison Consolidated Dispatch Center dispatcher who answered the call, is also to be commended for outstanding performance, her calm demeanor and quick response to the situation. Wood Dale Police Officer Mike Campbell also received a Department Commendation for his involvement in saving the resident’s life.
“Thank you to everyone involved,” said Jarosz, appearing at the April 5 Wood Dale City Council Meeting. “I now have a second chance at life.”