Chesterton Tribune

Randy Komisarcik honored for saving student's life

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Its not being called the Heimlich maneuver any more. Its now known as the "abdominal thrust."

But whatever you call it, Sgt. Randy Komisarcik of the Chesterton Police Department knows how to perform it. And last month he used the abdominal thrust to save the life of a Chesterton Middle School seventh-grader.

On Thursday the Police Commission honored Komisarcik with the departments Lifesaving Award, presented by Police Chief Dave Cincoski.

Komisarcik is the CPDs designated school resource officer, and on Feb. 9, while on duty at CMS, he was approached by several students who told him that a friend of theirs was "sick and needed help," Cincoski said as he was presenting the award.

"Sgt. Komisarcik, amidst the panic and confusion of the students around him, was able to correctly determine that the student was not sick but was, in fact, choking on a piece of food," Cincoski said. "Sgt. Komisarcik proceeded to perform abdominal thrusts, otherwise known as the Heimlich maneuver, on the student and successfully dislodged a portion of the students lunch that was obviously too large to swallow. In the words of CMS Registered Nurse Marie Kirchner, Sgt. Komisarciks quick response saved this students life."

"Sgt. Komisarcik would tell you that he was just doing his job," Cincoski added. "However, no matter how well you are trained or what certifications you have, it still takes a special person to act calmly, professionally, and correctly at the right time."

Cincoski presented Komisarcik with a medal, a uniform pin, and a certificate, and said that a letter of commendation would be placed in his personnel file.

President Craig Stafford—also known as CMS Principal—voiced his particular gratitude to Komisarcik. "It was something that had to be done without panic," he said.

Perhaps the highest praise for Komisarcik, however, came from the mother of one of three young men also honored on Thursday—for their heroism in pulling a woman from a car only moments before it was struck by a freight train—Tawnee Paliga. "Its ironic that Officer Randy is also being recognized tonight," she said. "Dustin has always looked up to him since Middle School. Youve always been one of his inspirations."

Hiring Update

In other business, Cincoski reported that the "financial stance of the town"—which isnt so hot at the moment, after the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance ordered $270,000 cut from the towns 2011 budget—has forced him to put the hiring process temporarily on hold.

Cincoski, who said that he has informed all candidates of the delay, is hoping that a new hire can be put on the departments roster sometime in July or August.

Probation Ended

Meanwhile, members voted 2-0, at Cincoskis recommendation, to release from probationary status three officers promoted to sergeant last year: Komisarcik, Det. Don Maloney, and Chris Swickard.

In Gratitude

Cincoski also reported that he has received three letters expressing gratitude for services rendered by CPD officers:

•From Geminus Head Start, for Det. Jamie Copollos assistance.

•From Duneland Schools Security Officer Steve Rohe, for Komisarciks help during ISTEP.

•From Globe Star, for the response of numerous officers last month, when a man residing on 18th Street reportedly battered his Globe Star caregiver and fought with officers called to the scene, biting the hand of one of them.

February in Review

In February the CPD responded to 1,122 calls, filed 36 cases, filed seven felony charges and 42 misdemeanor, issued 61 citations and 122 warnings, and investigated 37 accidents with 11 injuries.

Also in February the CPD assigned 33 juvenile cases and closed 29 of them.

Requests for service included 49 alarms, eight animal complaints, five reports of battery, 15 disturbances, one domestic call, five reports of fraud, seven miscellaneous juvenile complaints, six noise complaints, 10 parking violations, six residence checks, 16 suspicious circumstances, 12 suspicious persons, 25 suspicious vehicles, 19 thefts, 198 traffic stops, four incidents of vandalism, and four vehicle repossessions.


Posted 3/11/2011