Sgt. Casey Davis honored for life saving actions

Paul Garrod •
Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott, left, presents Sgt. Casey Davis, with a Life Saving Award for coming to the aid of an off-duty Grand Rapids police officer. Grand Rapids Police Department Deputy Chief Daniel Savage also honored Davis with a Chief’s Citation, signed by Grand Rapids Police Chief  David Rahinsky.  Courier-Leader photo/Paul Garrod

   PAW PAW - A Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office road patrol officer was honored last week for saving the life of a Grand Rapids police officer, while both were off-duty and participating in a Kalamazoo hockey tournament.
   Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott  presented  to Sgt. Casey Davis with a Life Saving Award, while Grand Rapids Police Department Deputy Chief Daniel Savage honored Davis with a  Chief’s Citation, signed by Grand Rapids Police Chief  David Rahinsky.
   On May 12, Davis and William “Bill” Kelly, who  was scheduled  to retire from GRPD in 20 months, were both involved  in the Kalamazoo Adult Classic hockey tournament at Wings Event Center.
   Davis  and Kelly were about to play a game when Kelly  began to experience an achy back. Kelly had thought that it was indigestion from an earlier meal that he had eaten in preparation  for the 9:15 p.m. game.
   “You expect to do this on the job, but this was a 15-year friend,” Davis said of Kelly. “As soon as that happened, the panic factor set in, and then the panic factor kind of kicked to the rear. Training kicked in at that point.”
   Kelly, who was in full gear in the locker room, went to reach for his helmet, when he fell hard to the ground and lost consciousness.
   When Kelly’s heart stopped, that’s when Davis  immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) measures on his friend. A Wings Event Center manager, Steven Bird, brought an automated  external defibrillator (AED) to revive Kelly, until Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers arrived and could transport Kelly to a hospital.
   "We do a lot of training on this type of situation, but you never really expect to do it in hockey equipment, you usually expect to be in uniform,”Davis said.
   Davis,  has been with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office since 2008.
   The tribute from Rahinsky, read in part:
   “The training we receive as members of law enforcement is deeply ingrained in us and is something we practice on a regular basis. However, performing under the pressures of a real life incident is certainly very different than training in the classroom. In an emergency situation the difference between doing something and doing nothing could be life or death.”
   The citation concluded, “Due to  your (Davis’) efforts, Bill will now be here to welcome his first grandchild into the world in  the very near future.”
   According to Savage, Kelly has moved up his retirement to October.

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