Howard County Police Department Cpl. Terrence Benn.
Howard County Police Department Cpl. Terrence Benn. (Courtesy photo)

A Howard County police officer is credited with helping to save the life of a substitute teacher at Reservoir High School through his quick response.

According to police, Cpl. Terrence Benn was at a traffic stop near Reservoir Dec. 15 when police received a 911 call that a man had collapsed in a classroom.


Benn was the first officer to respond to the scene, police said, and immediately began using the school's automated external defibrillator (AED) to revive the man — a Reservoir substitute — several times until paramedics arrived.

The teacher was taken to Howard County General Hospital and in a letter to parents Monday, principal Pat Saunderson said following surgery, the teacher's medical tests show positive signs for the future.

"I was not surprised at all to learn of Cpl. Benn's decisive actions and could not be more proud of him," Police Chief Gary L. Gardener said in a statement. "He is a true example of our outstanding members, who are trained to act quickly in any situation."

Earlier this year, Benn earned the department's Outstanding Community Service Award for 2014.

Saunderson praised Reservoir staff, particularly health assistant Michele Wilder and special education teacher Josh Sullivan, for their response in performing lifesaving procedures until Benn arrived.

"I want to commend Ms. Wilder and Mr. Sullivan for their efforts in particular and also recognize the many staff members who stepped up to assist in so many ways during this emergency," Saunderson said in the letter. "In addition, I want to honor each member of our incredible staff and all of our students for remaining calm and continuing on with our school day."