William Husfield mainly remembers thinking, “Please don’t die; come back.”
A 26-year veteran of the Streamwood Police Department, the 51-year-old corporal recalls thinking those words while performing CPR on a woman he had found unconscious during a response Aug. 2, 2015.
“I started doing CPR on her right away,” he said. “Her eyes came back forward, and I continued doing CPR until the paramedics came.”
The woman, whom Husfield described as middle-aged, had put a pain patch meant to be applied transdermally in her mouth to ease severe pain, he said. When she did that, the patch’s medicine was absorbed too quickly and it hit her hard, said Husfield, who lives in Crystal Lake.
“I just wanted to save her,” he said.
He did exactly that, and, a few months later, Husfield received a life-saving medal of commendation from the police department for his actions.
The significance of his actions didn’t set in until he heard other people talking about it, said Husfield’s wife, Alyssa.
“To him, that’s just his job,” she said, her voice thick while she described the night her husband was awarded the medal. “But at one point, he turned to me and said, ‘I really did something good didn’t I?’”
Husfield and Alyssa have been married less than three years, but they grew up together in Streamwood. Alyssa has known him since she was 8, and he was 10.
One of her fondest memories is of running around a creek with her now-husband and his friend playing cops and robbers. He was always the cop, she said.
“I set my mind to doing this ever since I was 5 years old,” Bill Husfield said.
Since, he has embodied what it means to serve and protect, his wife said, starting out after high school as a military police officer in the U.S. Army for three years of active duty. From there, he had a quick stint serving as a police officer in Genoa before getting a job with his hometown department in Streamwood.
Streamwood Police Sgt. Dino Heckermann, who has known Husfield since 1989, described his colleague as always ready to do the job, no matter what that happens to entail on a given day.
“It can be a more insignificant nuanced operation or it could be a complicated problem-solving situation,” Heckermann said. “Bill is always eager to serve.”
As a corporal, Husfield is responsible for filling in for the sergeant if need be, but he’s taken on extra, and some unofficial roles, in his 27 years.
He’s a field training officer, but he also has become something of a guru for technical assistance, Heckermann said.
“[Outside of the trained IT employees], he’s one of the guys to go to for equipment, data entry and problem-solving with systems,” Heckermann said.
While he takes off his badge when he’s off-duty, he doesn’t often leave his “eager-to-serve” mindset at the department, friends and family said.
Eric Edgren of Bartlett has been an assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 26 with Husfield for years.
He, too, described his longtime friend to be dedicated in all his endeavors, including the troop.
“You can tell that he really cares about the kids in our group and kids in general,” Edgren said, describing the time his own son joined and was further behind the others. “Bill took [my son] aside and showed him the ropes a little. He said, ‘Work with me for a bit, and we’ll get you to where you need to be.’”
From his time serving as a scoutmaster to the occasional charitable rides he takes as a member of the Blue Knights, a law enforcement motorcycle club, Husfield likes to stay active in activities that contribute to the community, Alyssa Husfield.
“His heart is so about helping everybody and his passion for all of it – it’s absolutely amazing,” Alyssa said. “It’s the kind of passion that makes you want to be a better person, too.”