Saving a life all in a day’s work for Riverton resident
Except for anxious youngsters, Christmas night is usually a quiet one for most people.
But last Christmas, around one in the morning, Officer Zach Beglarian was on police duty in Saratoga Springs when a call came in that an adult male had been found unconscious and was not breathing.
Beglarian, a lifelong Riverton resident, received the medical call during a bad snowstorm. The call came in that the victim had suffered cardiac arrest due to a possible drug overdose and was dead.
He was advised that a Lehi ambulance was on its way but would take 15 to 20 minutes to arrive due to road conditions.
Beglarian arrived quickly, knowing he might be there by himself for that time.
“When I arrived, the male looked gray, had no pulse. He looked dead; he looked to be 50 years old,” Beglarian said. So he immediately began CPR in attempts to revive him.
“Officer Beglarian performed CPR for 10 minutes, a physically demanding feat,” Saratoga Springs Chief of Police Gary Hicken said.
“It was pretty intense, but I did what I was trained to do,” Beglarian said. He was exhausted, he said, but the adrenaline kicked in and he was able to keep going.
After 10 minutes of performing CPR, Beglarian got a pulse, and the man began breathing on his own.
“He looked like a completely different person when he started to come to than when I first got there,” Beglarian said.
Corp. Matt Brownlee arrived after Beglarian had revived the man. Brownlee did some additional CPR, relieving an exhausted Beglarian.
EMTs arrived 20 minutes later. They were able to get the man to a hospital, and he later made a full recovery.
Hicken recently presented Beglarian with the Life Saving Award for “a job well done,” Hicken said.
Beglarian said he appreciated the award and was flattered, but that he didn’t expect any reward for what he did.
One of the officers who arrived at the scene a short time after Beglarian nominated him for it. The process is anonymous and is approved by a commendation committee.
“It’s just what I signed up to do and love to do. I enjoy my job every day. It’s a good feeling to know I gave him a second chance,” Beglarian said.
Beglarian said the man had been out of rehab for a year because of a heroin addiction. He had admitted to using heroin but had not intended to overdose. The man only wanted to use the same dose that he used when using before, Beglarian said, but his body couldn’t handle it anymore.
“It was a cardiac issue waiting to happen,” Beglarian said.
“If they hadn’t found him when they did, or I hadn’t been able to get there when I did, the family would have had a dead son Christmas morning. Instead, he spent Christmas in the hospital,” he said.
“Hopefully, this won’t have to happen again and will be a little bit of a reality check for him,” he added.
Beglarian was born and raised in Riverton and is now raising his family there with his wife, Angela and their newborn daughter, Olivia.