Off-duty Williamson County deputy saves overdose victim on his front lawn with Narcan

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Williamson County deputy saved a young woman on the front lawn of his home just minutes after getting home from a long shift working the streets.

Deputy Vinny Cardella saved a 21-year-old woman with Narcan on April 16 of this year.

The story revealed after Cardella was named the Williamson County Deputy of the Month for September, a delay that spokespeople attribute to COVID-19 freezing the program for a few months.

“I’m not gonna lie to you sir. That was my first go round administering Narcan.”

Deputy Vinny Cardella is 44-years-old. After a long career in the airline industry, he joined the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department.

He has been a road deputy almost two years now.

Cardella said he’d just finished up a 12 hour shift and had walked in his home in Rutherford County.

Williamson County Deputies are permitted to take home their squad cars.

That’s when Cardella said there was a frantic knock on the front door.

He said the ferocity of the banging scared his wife and he ran to the front door.

“There was a man on my front lawn with no shirt on just pouring down sweat and screaming ‘she is dead, she is dead.'”

According to Cardella, the 24-year-old man at his door step admitted he’d been doing drugs with his girlfriend at a home nearby. When she overdosed, he panicked and instead of calling 911, he carried her to his truck and began driving her to the hospital.

But when he spotted the deputy’s car in the driveway, he stopped and banged on Cardella’s door for help.

“He is on a bunch of drugs himself, so he was not responding to the commands I was giving him.”

They run to the man’s truck and find the woman, unresponsive.

“She is literally without a pulse laying on the floorboards of his truck.”

The deputy and the man got the woman onto the front lawn. Cardella, who has five children with his wife, began CPR. It was ineffective. He then gave her a dose of Narcan. It didn’t work, so he gave her a second dose, and she came around.

The deputy said she was incoherent and had no idea what happened or where she was.

“I am glad she was ok. She has her whole life to live.”

Sheriff Dusty Rhoades said he is proud of his officer.

“I am tickled to death that one of my men was able to save a life. We are there to help. That is our purpose, our sole purpose to help society. That is what we are there for. That is all we want to do.”

Since that save in April, Deputy Cardella told News 2, he’s used Narcan to bring another overdose victim back.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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