On Dec. 20 around 8:20 p.m., Middletown Police Officer Charles J. Higgins responded to a First Aid call in North Middletown where he found a male in his 20s who had a pulse, but who was not breathing.
Using his experience as a former EMT and as a police officer, Higgins performed rescue breathing for the patient with his bag-valve mask until the First AId took over patient care.
He is credited with saving the young man's life.
On Tuesday night, he was publicly thanked and given the Middletown Township Committee's Lifesaving Award.
"Not many people get second chances in life," said Mayor Gerald Scharfenberger. "But thanks to Patrolman Higgins this young man -- and I hope he takes advantage of it -- got that second chance that a lot of folks didn't."
"The Township Committee and everyone in this room tonight thank you for what you've done, and what you're going to continue to do in the future," said the mayor.
Police Chief Robert Oches awarded Higgins the Middletown Police Departmental Commendation for Lifesaving Achievement.
"One of the things the Township Committee does is support the Police Dept. and allows us to hire officers the caliber of Officer Higgins," said the chief. "And we're going to get many more years out of him before he retires," he said.
Four days after the call, Middletown Township First Aid & Rescue Squad sent a letter to the mayor and police chief bringing attention to Higgins' "exceptional service," said spokesman Bob Pflegler.
"Had another 5 minutes gone by, the outcome of this call would have been far worse, and this particular individual would have been at least brain-dead, if not fully deceased," said Middletown First Aid Captain Fortunato Campesi in the letter. "The fact that he is alive and well today is solely due to Patrolman Higgins’ actions upon his arrival. In no uncertain terms, CJ saved a life that evening."