Law enforcement officers often find themselves in the right place at the right time. Such was the case a few months ago when Franklin Police Department Sgt. Eric Treanor was making one of his two daily trips through a cul-de-sac in Hill Estates, a subdivision off Liberty Pike.
As he perused the area, he noticed a woman sitting on the ground by the left tire of her vehicle.
“It looked like she was playing with the tire,” said Treanor, a 23-year veteran of the department.
He continued on. Then, he felt something like a tap on his shoulder telling him to turn around. Experience told him to listen to that tap. He turned his vehicle around and headed back to the woman. He stopped his car just past the woman’s car and asked her if she was okay.
“She said, ‘I’m fine,’ but her speech was slurred,” Treanor said.
He could see her face, and it appeared the left side was drooping.
“I knew the symptoms, so I got out and tried to help her up, but her left side collapsed,” Treanor said.
Treanor immediately called EMS and told them she had the symptoms of a stroke, then he called her husband. By the time the ambulance arrived, the officer estimated the woman had been down 7 to 8 minutes. He was told by the medics if they arrived any later, she could have thrown the clot, which likely would have been deadly.
Before EMS arrived at Williamson Medical Center, they already had a blood thinner running through her veins.
Treanor found out later when the public information officer called him that she was transferred to St. Thomas-Midtown. The PIO wanted to thank him for his quick action and let him know she was doing well.
A few weeks later, during his rounds in the cul-de-sac, a young man was in the driveway of the house where Treanor found the woman, so her inquired about her condition.
“He said she was still in rehab,” Treanor said. “Everything that happened that day pointed to the Holy Spirit. It was mid-day, an obscure hour, and nobody goes there unless they live there, and that time of day, everyone was at work. I’d love to see her or know how she’s doing.”
A native of the West Meade area of Nashville, Treanor joined the Franklin Police Department in 1997, much to the chagrin of his parents.
“My parents threw a fit when I joined the Army [Reserves] during Desert Storm; they definitely had a fit when I told them I wanted to be a police officer,” he said with a smile.
As a child, Treanor never demonstrated an outward inclination toward law enforcement, except he thought the officer who parked near his parent’s house running radar on Woodlawn Street “was cool.”
He had a marketing degree and spent most of his time working on and selling cars.
“I didn’t have any friends who were police officers,” he said. “It was a calling.”
It may have been the television show “COPS” that really swayed him — it was really big in the mid-90s, he said. He applied and tested for a spot with the Metro Nashville Police Department, but they had a long hiring process, so, at his mother’s suggestion, he applied with the Franklin Police Department and has done “swimmingly well.”
“I filled out an interest card, and within a week, they handed me an application,” Treanor said.
There were 400 applicants for two spots. Treanor was offered a “conditional employment” and sent to the police academy.
In the past 23 years, Treanor has served in every area of the department and on every shift and has the stories to prove it. One of his hardest moments was when he had to tell a woman in the Franklin Green subdivision that her father had died. The father had flown in to spend time with the family and had a heart attack upon his arrival.
“She said God must’ve made a mistake,” he said. “I told her God doesn’t make mistakes.”
Suicides, fatal car crashes and drug overdoses can cause him to be emotional, but Treanor gets through the difficult times because of the support of his family, his church and the community.
“I pray every day,” he said. “I pray for the best and expect and plan for the worst.”
Speed of treatment is critical to survival for someone having a stroke. FAST is an acronym to remember:
F – Face drooping, usually one side
A – Arm weakness or drooping of one or both arms
S – Speech is slurred, garbled speech or a struggle to communicate or understand
T – Time to act fast