Off-duty NM officer rescues hiker
The man's lips were blue and he didn't appear to be breathing
By Rosalie Rayburn
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The man's lips were blue, he didn't appear to be breathing, cyclists and hikers surrounding him in the La Luz Trailhead parking lot didn't know what to do.
That's when Albuquerque Police officer and avid runner Rob DeBuck arrived, assessed the situation and began CPR.
"Everyone was just standing around transfixed," said David Hammack, a U.S. Forest Service volunteer and regular La Luz hiker, who witnessed DeBuck's intervention.
Shortly after DeBuck began compressions, the man took a breath, opened his eyes and asked where he was. One of those standing by called 911 and Bernalillo County rescue, Fire Department and an ambulance arrived within minutes, Hammack said.
"He (DeBuck) is a remarkable representative of the police department," said Hammack.
DeBuck retired as a captain with APD in 2006 to pursue film and television projects but returned to the force as a the equivalent of a rookie in 2008. He is currently an APD school resource officer at Highland High School.
He regularly runs La Luz Trail and said he had just come down from the mountain when he saw people gathered around someone on the ground. It reminded him of a situation when he assisted a student who had collapsed.
"His lips were turning blue, he wasn't breathing -- I thought, 'This guy's in serious trouble,'" DeBuck said.
DeBuck learned from those standing around that the 68-year-old man was diabetic and had recently relocated to New Mexico from California. He had started up the trail with a group of friends when he complained of feeling ill, turned back and collapsed when he reached the parking lot.
"It was just one of those things when I was glad I was there at that time," DeBuck said.
It wasn't clear Monday how the man was doing.
Copyright 2014 the Albuquerque Journal
McClatchy-Tribune News Service