Camden Police Officer Paul Thompson honored for bravery by Maine Chiefs of Police Association

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 3:15am

    CAMDEN — Camden Police Officer Paul Thompson has been awarded an act of bravery award by the Maine Chiefs of Police Association for administering life saving measures twice during his shift in the early morning hours of Dec. 2, 2019.

    Thompson was nominated for the award by Camden and Rockport Police Chief Randy Gagne. He will be presented with the award at the association’s annual awards banquet Feb. 7 in South Portland.

    On Monday, Dec. 2, Camden Police Officer Paul Thompson was not on duty in Camden, but was covering a vacant shift for the Rockport Police Department.

    Gagne said that at around 12:45 a.m., Thompson was dispatched by the Knox Regional Communications Center for a possible drug overdose in Rockport. Thompson and Camden Officer Wesley Butler both responded to the call of an unconscious male.

    The officers administered a first dose of Narcan to the man and monitored him for signs of life. The man was breathing but only recovered after an additional dose of narcan was administered by personnel from North East Mobile Health Services.

    Thompson cleared the scene and returned to patrol.

    Then another call came in from KRCC, just a few hours later at 3:20 a.m., and Thompson was dispatched to the Schooner Bay Motor Inn on Route 1 in Rockport for a possible structure fire. (Read Fire Marshal’s Office identifies man who perished in early morning Rockport fire)

    When Thompson arrived at the scene, he was alerted by a resident that there was smoke coming from the top floor on the other side of the building.

    He ran up the stairs and immediately checked the door for excessive heat. He did not feel any significant heat, but the door was locked so he kicked it down to check for any occupants.

    As soon as Thompson kicked the door, “heavy black smoke began rolling out of the room.”

    He determined there we not any active flames, but after shining his flashlight and saw an unconscious and unresponsive man lying on the bed.

    “At the immediate risk to his own safety and life, Officer Thompson entered the room and grabbed the legs of the unconscious male,” Gagne wrote in the nomination letter.

    Flames began to erupt in the room, but Thompson was able to pull the man out of the room.

    Thompson was able to begin life saving measures to the man, but the flames “bellowed out of the room” so he was forced to carry the man down two flights of stairs to a safe distance from the fire.

    Once he was a safe distance from the fire, Thompson and a female citizen were unsuccessful with reviving the unresponsive man.

    “The risk to himself and the attempt to save another human life were truly heroic and showed extreme bravery in the face of active chaos,” Gagne wrote.

    “The night of Dec. 2, 2019 will be one of those nights he will remember for the rest of his career and life,” he said. 

    Just after he joined the Camden Police Department in March 2018, Thompson said why he became a police officer.

    “It’s a chance to serve the community and have a career that is meaningful and needed,” he said.


    Sarah Shepherd can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com