Quick thinking by Pa. lawmaker saves Harrisburg Capitol Officer

Something Good

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — She is a freshman state rep with a confusing name and an infectious laugh. But there’s a serious side to Montgomery County Republican Tracy Pennycuick.

“I have combat-related PTSD,” Rep. Pennycuick said. She was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, served 26 years, flew helicopters, and did three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I’ll tell you what the military teaches you to do. Solve problems. You’ve got limited information, limited equipment, and limited time, make it work,” Rep. Pennycuick said.

Just a month into her first term at the Capitol, a big problem found Pennycuick. “He was on the ground. Right here. Right here on the ground,” Rep. Pennycuick said. A Capitol Policeman had collapsed. “He looked grey,” Rep. Pennycuick said. “He was, you know, not responsive,” Pa. Department of General Services Press Secretary, Troy Thompson said.

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“How scary was that?” I asked. “You know what, I didn’t think about it. You just jump in,” Rep. Pennycuick said. So did another officer who did chest compressions. “It was a tense four and a half minutes. I did mouth to mouth,” Rep. Pennycuick said.

Finally, an automated defibrillator arrived. “I believe a total of four shocks to the AED were delivered,” Thompson said. “Comparatively speaking to soldiers on the battlefield, I’ve lost pretty comparable,” Rep. Pennycuick said. “I’m glad to say our officer is in good condition. He’s doing well,” Thompson said.

The officer is back on the job. Pennycuick checks in on him regularly and even heard from his wife. “She wrote me a lovely thank you note,” Rep. Pennycuick said.

The American Red Cross gave her an award. “A certificate of extraordinary personal action to step up in an emergency situation.”

“I’m glad it turned out the way it did. For some reason God put me there that day at that time,” Rep. Pennycuick said.

She followed her training and did her part but says she doesn’t have the power to save anyone’s life. “I always say a little prayer for him when I walk past. I think this is where God made his decision that it wasn’t his time,” Pennycuick said.

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