Campus safety officer honored with American Red Cross Hero Award
To hear Campus Safety Officer Eric Roode tell the story, he was simply doing his job.
In January, Roode was dispatched to a residence hall for a report of a medical emergency involving an unresponsive man. On Roode’s way to the building, he grabbed one of the dozen automatic external defibrillators available on the Connecticut College campus.
It was a decision that ultimately saved the man’s life.
“There was no pulse, no respiration, so I immediately applied the AED,” Roode said.
Roode administered chest compressions and three separate shocks before firefighters arrived on the scene. A few hours later, a paramedic returned to campus to congratulate Roode on saving the man’s life.
“I don’t feel like a hero. I feel like I was just doing my job,” Roode said.
Stephen George, the man he saved, feels differently.
“He is a hero,” said George, the manager for planning, design and construction at the College. “There’s not enough praise I can give to Eric Roode for saving my life.”
Roode, who has served as a campus safety officer at the College for 11 years, was honored on Sept. 14 with the American Red Cross Emergency Services Hero Award. State Sen. Heather Somers, who presented Roode with a citation from the State Senate and a special Senate pin at the organization’s Connecticut Heroes Luncheon, praised Roode for his quick thinking and life-saving actions.
“Eric is quiet and humble, but always willing to lend a hand. I couldn't think of a better person to be honored," she said.
Roode was joined at the event by family and friends, including his wife and daughter, and by representatives of the College, including George, Dean of the College Victor Arcelus, Campus Safety Shift Supervisor Luis Argarin and Director of Public Relations Deborah MacDonnell.
In accepting the award, Roode said, “I'm very honored today. I'm also very grateful for the training I received at Connecticut College and the state of the art equipment we have.”