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Two New Canaan Police Officers Honored For Life-Saving Actions

Charlie Taben, second from left, at a ceremony honoring Officers Michael O'Sullivan, left, and Brian Micena, second from right, for helping to save his life after he had cardiac arrest on Oct. 18. At right is Chief Leon Krolikowski.
Charlie Taben, second from left, at a ceremony honoring Officers Michael O'Sullivan, left, and Brian Micena, second from right, for helping to save his life after he had cardiac arrest on Oct. 18. At right is Chief Leon Krolikowski. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Two New Canaan police officers were honored for their quick response that played a role in saving a town man's life two months ago.

Officers Michael O'Sullivan and Brian Micena were given the Medical Service Award at a ceremony Monday for their part in saving Charles Taben's life.

"I am forever grateful for the department and the EMS," Taben said after the ceremony as he praised the officers and others after he suffered cardiac arrest. "I think the quick work by the department and the EMS saved my life as well as the good work from the people in Norwalk Hospital. I was very fortunate that everyone was there very quickly. I'm one of the lucky ones."

Taben collapsed at his home at about 2:45 a.m. Oct. 18. His wife, Eve, heard him fall, started CPR and called 911. Fortunately for Taben, the family lives close to the police station. By 2:51 a.m., O'Sullivan was on the scene and determined that Taben wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse.

Shortly after Micena arrived, the two officers used an automated external defibrillator, or AED, to give Taben a shock to his heart to help revive him. Soon after New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps members and a paramedic arrived to take over Taben's care, and he was rushed to Norwalk Hospital.

The officers spoke of their happiness at saving someone's life.

"How many times do you get to see the positive outcome on things as a police officer? This time you are actually seeing a positive," O'Sullivan said.

Micena said he was pleased to see that Taben has recovered and is home.

"Too many times it doesn't go the right way. To see him with his family it makes everything totally worthwhile," Micena said. "Just to know he can be with his kids is amazing

New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski saluted the officers for their life-saving response.

"Mike and Brian, you have been called to a high duty, you have won the respect of the Taben family and of our entire town," Krolikowski said. "You are true to your calling. You saved a life and ensured a father will be there for his family. I can think of no greater act."

The couple have three children: Leah, 22, Lucy, 20, and Isabel, 18.

Isabel was there at the time of the incident and let police officers and EMS in the house, earning a few more critical seconds in the response, said Kelly Daniel, president of the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Daniel, an EMT, arrived on the scene a few minutes after the police along with another EMT and the Norwalk Hospital paramedic. She said it was a textbook response from start to end.

"It was like clockwork," Daniel said.

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