First responders honored for using CPR to save man’s life in Heidelberg Township

Two South Heidelberg Township Police Officer’s and the Deputy Fire Chief of the Womelsdorf Fire Department were honored Tuesday night at the South Heidelberg Township Board of Supervisors meeting for using CPR to revive Heidelberg Township resident Anthony Andrews after he was found unresponsive in his home on September 10th, 2022.

South Heidelberg Township Police Officers Alexander Doelp and Bryan Baxter were dispatched to the 300 block of East Penn Avenue at 2:24pm for a report of a 67-year-old male that was in cardiac arrest.

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Officer Baxter and Womelsdorf Fire Department Deputy Chief Ryan Zerbe arrived first and immediately began CPR. Officer Doelp arrived seconds later, and after retrieving a breathing mask, began to administer rescue breaths to Andrews.

South Heidelberg Township Police Officers Alexander Doelp and Bryan Baxter, along with Ryan Zerbe, Deputy Fire Chief of the Womelsdorf Fire Department pose with Andre Andrews.

The three continued to provide critical lifesaving care to Andrews until the arrival of Paramedics from Western Berks Ambulance who were able to provide more advanced emergency care.

Andrews, who upon the arrival of the Officers and Deputy Fire Chief initially showed no signs of breathing, or a pulse, was able to start breathing on his own just prior to being loaded into the Ambulance for transport to the Saint Joseph’s Medical Center.

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Due to Officers Baxter and Doelp’s quick response, and the assistance of Deputy Fire Chief Zerbe, Andrews was able to make a full recovery.

“Officers Baxter and Doelp’s and Deputy Chief Zerbe’s exceptional professionalism to provide these immediate and essential lifesaving efforts were instrumental in saving the victim’s life” said South Heidelberg Township Police Chief Leon Grim in the presentation.

“Their expertise and loyal devotion to duty are a credit to themselves and in keeping with the highest traditions of the South Heidelberg Township Police Department and Womelsdorf Fire Department and are thus awarded the Lifesaving Award.”

Following the Board of Supervisors meeting, Andrews, accompanied by his sister and son, were able to thank the officers and deputy fire chief. The group spoke for several minutes in the hallway of the municipal building.

“They did a beautiful job. It’s tremendous and humbling” said Andrews.

Andrews said he was in the hospital for about a week following the incident. He believes a neurological condition was responsible for what happened to him. He also credits his son, Andre Lavender, for calling 911 and beginning the first steps of CPR before police, fire and EMS arrived.

“I’ve lived in Robesonia for 16 years, I’ve had a few incidents where we called the ambulance for my wife before she passed, and we always had great service. I’m blessed and glad to be here thanks to them.”

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Jason Hugg
Jason Hugg
Editor and photographer at Berks Weekly.
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