Richmond Police Chief speaks out for the first time following his heart attack in Oct. pursuit

RICHMOND, Vt. - For the first time, Richmond Police Chief Alan Buck spoke out about his heart attack during an October 2017 police pursuit.

Monday, the 59 year-old was in good spirits, as he spoke all about the most stressful day of his career: October 20, 2017.

"I know I was dead, and I know they brought me back," said Buck.

At one point, the Richmond Police Chief was the lead cruiser in a pursuit that would span several towns. However, Buck only made it a few minutes.

"All I remember is tunnel vision, and I said I gotta stop. Something's not right. And that's the last thing I remember for a day and a half," said Buck.

The chief was having a heart attack.

"I've been doing this for 40 years. I've been shot at, I've been in pursuits, I've been bitten by people and animals. I've been hit with bricks; I've had it all. But in this particular case, because of him ramming a cruiser, trying to take out one of the troopers, the speed he was going, the reckless driving he was doing; he was gonna kill somebody. And he had no compassion for anybody out there, I mean we're doing 100 miles an hour in roads in Richmond, it's just insane," said Buck.

Once the chief pulled over, every second that followed was crucial.

"My time wasn't up," said Buck.

Buck says there were many reasons why he didn't die that day.

"I was on radio communications. The fact that Sgt. Ravelin was a minute behind," started Buck.

Vermont State Police Trooper, Sgt. Paul Ravelin, noticed something was wrong. He rushed to the scene and started doing CPR for several minutes.

"The fact that Sarah, or Richmond Rescue, or somebody there turned the radio on in rescue to listen to this, knew something wasn't up, and get on the radio when he started asking where the closest AED, cause he didn't know I had an AED in the car," continued Buck.

Sarah Lamb is a paramedic with Richmond Rescue. She was the primary care provider on the ambulance that picked up the chief.

"I asked our dispatch if they could confirm what I was hearing, and they said yes, CPR is in progress, but they need an AED. So I got back in there and I said, 'Can you please tell them, he has one,'" said Lamb.

The chief, who had played a role in making Richmond a "Heart Safe Community," never thought the AED would need to be used on himself.

Sgt. Ravelin and was able to start using it before rescue got there.

"There were several other law enforcement agencies on the scene prior to our arrival, and out of all of them, there was a single AED," said Lamb.

The Chief tells Local 22 & Local 44 News he does plan on returning to work at some point, but will spend less time in the field.

"I've always been a street cop, even when I was an administrator and that's now gonna change, I can't do that anymore," said Buck.

During his leave, the chief says the help and support from his community has been overwhelming.

"You know the outpouring from the town... that I got... you know I couldn't of gotten, if it wasn't for these people," said Buck.

For the full interview, watch the video below.



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