In the community

Nyssa’s Maret honored for recent life-saving effort

NYSSA – Jim Maret doesn’t care for the word “hero” when it comes to his actions when he saved a man after an overdose in February.

“Here is the deal. It is my job. It is what I do,” he said.

Maret, a reserve Nyssa Police Department officer, this month received the city’s Life Saving Award for his efforts on Feb. 4.

That Sunday, Maret was on routine patrol duty when a call interrupted the quiet.

 “I got a call for an overdose at Bob’s (Steak N’ Spirits) parking lot. When I got there, there were two men, one standing over the other,” he said.

Maret looked at the man on the ground – who appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s – and saw that his face was blue.

Maret sprinted to his patrol car and grabbed a canister of Narcan, the brand name for naloxone, a medicine used to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose, and ran back to the man on the ground.

Maret administered the Narcan into the man’s nose, and then began chest compressions.

“He started making some noise and I turned him on his side, and he started to turn color again and started to breath,” said Maret.

With an ambulance on the way, Maret realized the man was going to be OK.

“I knew he OD’d on something, and according to his buddy it was fentanyl,” he said.

Maret didn’t make an arrest.

“At the time there wasn’t anything I could do. There was not enough evidence to make a real case out of it,” he said.

However, he did inform both men the dangers of fentanyl.

“I told them this is a bad deal,” he said.

After the ambulance arrived, Maret got back in his patrol car, and it was business as usual, he said.

“It wasn’t very epic for me. It is what I do. The guy was alive,” he said.

Maret, who has been an unpaid, reserve police officer for nine years, said while overdose calls are not as frequent as they once were the numbers are still high.

“It happens more than you think. That month alone I think we had a couple. Fentanyl is a really bad drug and people don’t get it,” he said.

He said responding to an overdose can be dangerous for first responders as well as those who are near death.

“I keep my gloves right next to me in the patrol car. When I know it is an overdose, I glove up,” he said.

On April 9, Maret received a plaque and a medal recognizing his actions and an insignia bar he wears on his uniform. The Nyssa Police Department, on its Facebook page, announced the award and thanked him for his service.

Still, he doesn’t believe his actions were heroic.

“It is just what I am supposed to do,” he said.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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