FARMINGTON — Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. and Lt. David Rackliffe recognized Franklin County Cpl. Christopher Chase on Tuesday with a Meritorious Award for saving the life of a motorist in Strong on Feb. 4.

Nichols also recognized retired military nurse Jo Craemer of Eustis who was with Chase on a ride-along as part of the Sheriff’s Department Citizens Police Academy in Eustis.

Chase was on patrol on Route 4 in Strong and saw a vehicle on the side of the road. He recognized the operator, who was alone, appeared to be having some type of medical problem and was slumped over the steering wheel, Rackliffe said.

Chase found the vehicle was still in gear with the engine running, he said. Chase put it in park and opened the person’s airway so they could breathe, he said.

He then radioed dispatchers and requested an ambulance.

Chase and Craemer provided urgent medical care to the person until a NorthStar EMS ambulance could arrive.

Rackliffe said NorthStar Director Michael Senecal told him that Chase made inquiries and provided medical history to the responding emergency medical services personnel. The information enabled the EMS crew to prepare before arrival and to manage the patient aggressively for a positive outcome, he said.

“Cpl. Chase is an outstanding representation of a public servant and deserves to be acknowledged for the lifesaving measures he took,” Rackliffe said.

Nichols presented Chase and Craemer framed certificates for their meritorious service during a meeting of the Franklin County Commission.

“The right place and right time,” Chase said.

Nichols said Chase could have just drove by thinking someone was stopped on the side of the road taking a rest or talking on the phone, but his sixth sense kicked in and he checked on the person.

Nichols also presented Chase with a meritorious medal and placed it around his neck.

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