Frantic efforts to save man overdosing on fentanyl captured on RCMP video

A dramatic video shows an Athabasca RCMP officer performing chest compressions on a 27 -year-old man overdosing on fentanyl. The lifesaving effort happened in the bed of a speeding pickup truck.

A Mountie and a civilian credited with helping to save Edmonton man's life

RCMP perform CPR in the back of a pickup

6 years ago
Duration 0:46
The RCMP supplied this dashcam video of CPR being done in the bed of a racing pickup truck.

A dramatic police video shows an Alberta RCMP officer and a civilian working frantically in the bed of a speeding pickup truck to save the life of a man overdosing on the deadly opioid fentanyl.

The Mountie and civilian are seen performing chest compressions on the 27-year-old man, captured by a camera mounted in an RCMP cruiser. The video was released to media this week.

The scene unfolded in Athabasca, about 150 kilometres north of Edmonton, in late September.

'He was not breathing'

Police said an Athabasca RCMP officer was flagged down by a vehicle on Highway 55 at 43rd Street in Athabasca on the morning of Sept. 28.

The vehicle's driver told the officer a 27-year-old man inside her truck was overdosing on fentanyl.

The police officer checked the man and found him unresponsive, without a pulse.

"He was not breathing," Alberta RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott said Friday. "He was having issues — clearly in medical distress."

The officer began providing assistance to the man. "He had to do a very quick risk assessment which was that he needed to get going immediately to the hospital," Scott said.

A woman driver pulled up and told the officer she had been involved in a collision with the same truck. Seeing the man in trouble, she jumped in to help provide CPR at the side of the road.

"We face all sorts of circumstances every day but for a civilian to step in without being asked and to assist us that way, that really is fantastic," Scott said.

The officer and the civilian got the man into the bed of the truck. Then they continued to try to save his life while the driver raced toward the hospital.

"The indication from the hospital is [the effort] was very instrumental in assisting to save this man's life," Scott said.

The man, who is from Edmonton, was later transferred to an Edmonton area hospital in serious condition.

He has since recovered, RCMP said.

Scott noted the officer did not have a naloxone kit with him at the time. Naloxone is a medication that counters the effects of an opioid overdose. 

"There's now been a rollout for the RCMP nationally that we are equipped to carry naloxone," said Scott. "It's an effective counter to someone who's in medical distress having had a fentanyl overdose. So now our members are carrying that and are trained to administer it."