After the Kansas City Chiefs disposed of the Oakland Raiders 26-15 on December 10 at Arrowhead Stadium, KCPD East Patrol Division Captain Ryan Mills and Central Patrol Division Officer Aaron Smith were tasked with ensuring that everyone exited the premises without incident. In the end, their preparedness helped save a life.
The two officers were patrolling the parking lot in the aftermath of the victory when Mills saw, out of the corner of his eye, an individual climbing into his pick-up truck. During the process of climbing into the vehicle, the man suddenly stopped and fell backwards onto the parking lot, hitting his head. When Mills and Smith approached the individual, he was in rough shape.
“We both went over there and assessed his medical condition,” Mills said. “Initially he had a pulse, but it was faint.”
Before long, the man’s pulse stopped. Smith administered CPR, while Mills coordinated resources to get the man to the hospital as swiftly as possible. When paramedics arrived, they hooked the individual into an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) to gauge his condition. As the emergency vehicles exited the stadium, the man had regained a heartbeat but remained unconscious.
The next day, Mills felt compelled to follow up on the situation. So on his way to work, he stopped by the hospital where the man had been taken.
“They just told me his condition,” Mills said. “He did have a heart attack, but he was breathing on his own. It was touch and go.”
Mills left his card at the hospital and hoped for the best. A week and a half later, he received a phone call from the man whose life he had helped save.
“He said that he did have a heart attack, and that the actions of the officers at the scene saved his life,” Mills recalls. “He said it was one in a million that he’d have a full recovery, but because of the actions of the officers on the scene, they expect him to fully recover.”
On December 27, Mills received a call from KCPD Major Tye Grant, who runs security for the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Grant said that the Chiefs intended to honor Mills and Smith during the team’s playoff matchup with the Tennessee Titans. Ultimately, both Mills and Smith were recognized on the field in front of 70,000 fans. The KCPD officers each received a football with ‘Hometown Hero’ emblazoned on the ball.
“It was very humbling. I didn’t feel like I necessarily deserved the recognition, but I appreciate the Chiefs organization for wanting to recognize us,” Mills said. “In my experience as a police officer I’ve been on camera several times, and that’s always an unnerving feeling.”
“It still is a little bit unnerving,” Mills acknowledged. “That doesn’t happen every day.”