Hafey and Goff

Sgt. Matthew Hafey of the Circleville Police Department with Isabella Goff, a ninth grade Circleville student whose life he is credited with saving following a medical emergency at the Homecoming Dance last month.

CIRCLEVILLE — The City of Circleville has honored one of its police officers with the lifesaving award following an incident that occurred last month.

Sgt. Matthew Hafey was presented with the award Monday morning after he helped save the life of Isabella Goff, a ninth grade student. Goff was attending the homecoming dance at Circleville High School on Oct. 12 when she collapsed.

Hafey wasn’t even supposed to be working that night as he was filling in for another officer.

“About halfway through the dance the DJ said there was a student on the floor and her heart stopped beating and she quit breathing and so we used the AED, which was critical,” Hafey told The Circleville Herald. “The fire department got there quickly and they got her to Berger and then off to Children’s Hospital and she’s here today.”

Hafey thought she was having a seizure at first but as time went on she got worse.

“We continued to monitor her vitals and it started going downhill quick and that’s when I realized we needed to do something,” he added.

Circleville Police Chief Shawn Baer presented Hafey with his award Monday morning, alongside Goff, who handed him his medal.

“Your quick response saved the life of a juvenile attending a function at Circleville High School,” Baer read from the commendation letter. “The requirements for this medal are that it shall be awarded to any member of the Circleville Police Department whose actions prevented the imminent death of any person. Your actions are why we are here and what is expected of us. You are an invaluable member of the Circleville Police Department and the City of Circleville, and I take great pride in awarding you this honor.”

Goff didn’t say much, just that she was thankful to Hafey.

Hafey said he’s glad that Goff is okay and he was happy to see her at the City Administration building during the presentation.

“I’ve been in contact with your parents and anytime I hear from them on how you’re doing, it’s the highlight of my day,” Hafey commented. “I’m glad you’re doing well.”

Baer said he spoke with Hafey following the incident and could hear on the phone how much the event impacted him.

“Anyone that has been around Matt or talks to him knows why he does what he does and his dedication,” Baer said. “When I got the call he was definitely emotional and I understood how important this was to him and how important she is to us.”

Hafey said this is the 14th time that he’s performed CPR on duty and this is the first person that he’s had live beyond a few days after.

“In the EMS world it’s considered a save if they make it to the hospital alive,” Hafey continued. “She’ the first one that’s made it beyond that. I’ve had people make it a couple of days. Her parents and I have been in contact this entire time. I have two teenage daughters — that’s what I was thinking about. In my 16 and a half years this is the shining moment knowing that we made an impact in someone’s life.”

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