Deputy: ‘Cost invaluable to human life’


VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Saturday, two Vigo County sheriff’s deputies had their best day on the job.

Around 3:00 a.m., Deputy Jason Washburn and Deputy Jack Schoffstall saved another man’s life.

“When you put the uniform on, you know you’re going to be helping somebody,” said Deputy Washburn.

The call came in early Saturday morning. A Vigo County man didn’t have a pulse and was in cardiac arrest.

“He was on the bedroom on the floor. His wife giving him CPR,” said Deputy Washburn.

Then Deputy Jason Washburn pulled out his automated external defibrillator (AED).

“I got out my AED and hooked it up while Deputy Schoffstall did CPR,” said Deputy Washburn.

That’s when the man came back to life.

“After two shocks with the defibrillator, he took his first breath,” said Deputy Washburn.

It’s an extraordinary story that wouldn’t have been possible two years ago.

The sheriff’s department got AED’s for several of their patrol vehicles.

“We have them on each shift. We try to have one in each district,” said Chief Deputy Clark Cottom.

Now, Deputy Washburn knows for a fact it’s a tool every deputy should have.

And just an example of one of the many things a deputy manages regularly.

“A lot of times people see police officers carrying a gun. A lot of times people watch television and see an officer take somebody’s life. Well, today a life was saved by law enforcement,” said Chief Deputy Cottom.

This is just the second time the AED saved a life.

But they call the cost invaluable.

“It’s worth all the training and all the equipment in the world,” said Chief Deputy Cottom. “If we have an opportunity to help somebody in need or save a life, it’s well worth it.”

For Deputy Washburn, it’s just another day on the job.

“I don’t feel like I did anything above or beyond my duties. But it is a good feeling to help somebody,” said Deputy Washburn.

But for one grateful family, it means another day with a father, husband, and son.

The deputies volunteered to have their vehicles equipped with AED’s.

The Vigo County Sheriff’s Office is hoping to continue expanding their equipment.

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