Red Cross Calls Police Officers’ Palolo Rescue ‘Heroic’

Steve Murray
Wednesday - December 15, 2010
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A quick-thinking rescue at Palolo District Park pool saved a life and earned these three police officers the Red Cross Line of Duty Heroes award: (from left) William Ellis, Kendall Prochnow and Garrett Hung. Photo from Kerry Gomes.

Three police officers recently were named 2010 American Red Cross In the Line of Duty Heroes of the Year. The three Honolulu officers - William Ellis, Garrett Hung and Kendall Prochnow - are credited with saving the life of a Palolo man who fell and struck his head at Palolo District Park swimming pool.

While responding to a medical emergency call at the housing complex above the pool on March 27, they spotted people running toward them, asking for help. From their vantage point they could see the victim, Thomas Foley, lying in a pool of blood, and they rushed to assist.

“We ran ahead, and Officer Ellis had the piece of mind to get his defibrillator, which I think was a crucial part in this thing being successful,” said Prochnow.

Prochnow and Hung found the man with a weak pulse and unresponsive. They began CPR and rescue breathing until Ellis arrived with the defibrillator. The officers helped Foley regain consciousness before EMTs took him to a hospital for further treatment.

Hung believed their effectiveness came from their experience working together. “It’s not like we have to tell each other get this, get that. Everybody focuses on what we have to do at the time. We work well as a team. We’ve been partners for a long time.”

All three admitted to being a bit embarrassed by the attention from the award, but were clear about their appreciation for it.

“It’s a bit overwhelming,” admitted Ellis. “We didn’t expect anything like that. We were just doing our jobs. It’s great to get an award, but we are just glad that he survived.”


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