SWAT Sgt. saves a woman’s life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance – all in one day

SWAT Sgt. saves a woman’s life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance – all in one day

SWAT Sgt. saves a woman's life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance - all in one day
SWAT Sgt. saves a woman’s life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance – all in one day. Courtesy of the Chicago Police Department

All in a day’s work!

A SWAT Sergeant and 19-year police veteran in Chicago, Illinois, had a pretty eventful day recently, as he ran in a 15K race for charity.

Sgt. Mike Nowacki was participating in the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K on Sunday in Chicago, where he had a plan to propose to long-time girlfriend, Erin Gubala, at the finish line – Gubala, also a Chicago police officer, was on duty at the event.

SWAT Sgt. saves a woman's life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance - all in one day.
SWAT Sgt. saves a woman’s life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance – all in one day. Courtesy of the Chicago Police Department

But as we all know, plans don’t always work out the way we want them to – sometimes one must improvise!

While Nowacki was running in his full SWAT gear, which weighs 50lbs, he started hearing people yell “Medic! Medic!” about 150 yards south of the finish line.

SWAT Sgt. saves a woman's life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance - all in one day.
SWAT Sgt. saves a woman’s life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance – all in one day. Courtesy of the Chicago Police Department

When he reached the group, he found a woman on the ground who was not breathing. So with the help of a firefighter, he began administering CPR to the unresponsive woman.

“The female subject was transported to Northwestern Hospital where doctors stated Sgt. Nowacki’s actions and the quick response by emergency medical services saved the female’s life,” the Chicago Police Department said in a Facebook post.

“It was definitely a serendipitous moment because if I had run a little bit slower or a little bit faster, I would have never encountered the young lady,” Nowacki told WLS-TV.

Afterward, he went to find the woman who would soon be his fiance.

“Mostly what I was trying to do as I finished the race was come up with something good to say and then I was totally thrown off by having to perform CPR,” Nowacki said.

As Nowacki ran toward her, Gubala said that she thought he was going to tell her about the woman he’d saved. Then, Nowacki got down on one knee. She said that, at first, she thought he was hurt.

SWAT Sgt. saves a woman's life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance - all in one day.
SWAT Sgt. saves a woman’s life while running 15k for charity in full gear, then proposes to fiance – all in one day. Courtesy of the Chicago Police Department

“I wanted to talk to him about what happened down the way, find out more information. … Then he just said, ‘Erin, I don’t know what to say’ and then I realized what was going on,” Gubala said during the news conference, according to WLS-TV.

Stay up-to-date with all the life-saving activity the Chicago Police Department does by following them on Facebook.


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