SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - Two off-duty law enforcement officers are being called heroes after performing CPR on an unconscious middle school football player.
Shreveport police Detective Richard Turpen said it happened when he was off duty and watching his son play Tuesday afternoon at the North DeSoto football field in Stonewall.
That’s when an eighth-grader on the team from Rusheon Middle in Bossier City collapsed and stopped breathing.
Turpen showed KSLA News 12 footage of the game shortly before it all happened.
He explained that it was actually DeSoto sheriff’s Deputy Larry McClosky and his wife, Brandy, who started that emergency effort to save the young man.
Then Turpen told us he stepped in and helped with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
“Thirty and two, you know. Thirty chest compressions, two breaths," he explained.
"And I was looking at this kid on the field, you know. What if this were my kid? You know. So I wanted to make sure that this boy has another opportunity.”
McClosky said he and other first responders must keep up with their CPR training; in his case, it’s through the American Heart Association.
“So it’s a very good, very good training that we all get.”
The American Red Cross regularly provides certification classes, including those on CPR.
“You never know where you might be, where you’ll be in that emergency. And all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Who knows CPR? And who can administer and help this person?’" said Karen McCoy, executive director of the Red Cross’ North Louisiana chapter.
"So it’s vitally important for everybody to be trained in CPR.”
An automatic electronic defibrillator also played a key role in saving the player’s life on the field Tuesday, McClosky said.
Turpen and McClosky told KSLA News 12 they have since visited the middle school player as he recovers in a Shreveport hospital.
Bossier Parish School District released the following statement about what happened:
“We are lifting up this young man and his family and rallying around them. This is a difficult time for everyone, but we are hopeful he will make a full recovery.
"Additional counselors have been at Rusheon today for students and faculty needing emotional support.
"Bossier Schools also wants to extend its sincere gratitude to the North DeSoto SRO and his wife for their heroic, life-saving response, as well as Rusheon faculty members who sprang into action. DeSoto Parish Schools has gone above and beyond offering support and we could not be more grateful.”