RIDGEFIELD — Police honored two Ridgefield women Thursday night for trying to save a neighbor's life when he fell into the Lake River.
Jolyn Calderon, 22, and Shannon Fedor, 26, were sleeping in their home at McCuddy's Ridgefield Marina during the morning of Sept. 7 when they heard their neighbor, Patrick Campbell, calling for help through an open bedroom window.
"I've never ran down those stairs that fast," Calderon said.
Outside they found the 70-year-old clinging to a rope dangling from the dock. Campbell told them he thought he would pass out.
Calderon and Fedor got him out of the water and rolled him onto his back, but he had already lost consciousness. Their mother, Christine Murana, 53, started to perform CPR. She was visiting from Southern California and had just finished her CPR training. When her arthritis started to hurt, a neighbor, Dirk Swanson, took over chest compressions. They were able to get a pulse back, only to lose it again.
By this time, Clark County Fire & Rescue, American Medical Response and Ridgefield police were on their way to the
North Mill Street marina. Campbell was still not breathing, and his heart had stopped beating. Paramedics were not able to revive him.
Even with trained paramedics, when a person's heart fails, resuscitation is successful about 40 percent of the time, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy with Clark County Fire & Rescue. The important part was that Campbell didn't slip into the water and die alone, Dawdy said. His chances of surviving were greater because a group of people chose to step in and help.
"They did the right thing for the right reason, and we're grateful," Dawdy said. "They gave him every opportunity to survive that emergency."
Ridgefield Police Chief Carrie Greene read a letter at Thursday's Ridgefield City Council Meeting from Campbell's wife, Linda Campbell, thanking the women for their efforts.
Calderon and Fedor both work at Vinnie's Pizza on North Main Avenue.
"I served the mayor pizza today for lunch," Calderon said.
Would the two women do it all over again, even knowing Campbell would die?
"Of course," they both answered in unison.
"You kind of don't think, you just do," Calderon said.