Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers honored for saving a man’s life

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ELYRIA — Any law enforcement official will tell you that there is no such thing as a routine call. Last September two Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers were assisting the Elyria Police Department in searching for a suspect.

Those two troopers were recognized on Friday for what happened next.

“It was one of those things, we were sleeping, heard a huge bang, woke us up,” said 50-year-old Bill Bethel of Elyria.

That bang sent Bethel running down his stairs. A car had crashed into his Jeep which was sitting in his driveway.

Bill doesn’t remember how he got to the driveway but that is where Troopers found him and they began to administer CPR.

“I was flagged down by somebody on the sidewalk,” said Trooper Vernon Pickering. “Somebody was in medical distress, they thought he was having a seizure. Trooper Resendez arrived on scene and shortly after he arrived on scene, Mr. Bethel stopped breathing, at that time we knew CPR had to be done.”

It was the first time Trooper Resendez ever had to administer CPR in a real-life situation.

“The thought never really crossed my mind, immediately my training kicked in,” Resendez said.

Bethel was suffering from a heart attack. The CPR he was administered, saved his life.

“Everybody said the medical people, 'if someone wouldn’t have given you CPR, you wouldn’t be here today,'” Bethel said.

Neither Trooper told their supervisor what had happened that night.

“Anytime we can get together and recognize troopers for doing an outstanding job, it’s a proud day for the Highway Patro,” said Lt. Carlos Smith.

On Friday, the two Troopers were honored for their lifesaving efforts. Neither considers themselves a hero.

“We’re not really here for the recognition, we just want to do our job and make our county and state a better place,” Resendez said.

“Thank you, without what you’ve done, I wouldn’t be here,” Bethel said.

Nobody knew what the two Troopers had done until Bill's father-in-law came to the station to personally thank the Troopers.

Bill recently had a pacemaker defibrillator put in to help his heart.