“This is why I’m here and this is why I do what I do,” officer Eric Bernier said.

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Two undercover officers from the Torrance Police Department won praise Friday for saving the life of a man who was overdosing on heroin.

Det. Stephen Kim said he was driving in his undercover car when he spotted what he initially thought was a kid who fell off a bike.

What he found was a man in the fetal position. His training told him the man was suffering from an overdose.

“He was completely blue in the face, stiff to the touch,” Kim said.

He called for backup and then got to work.

“We had the subject lie flat down and he was unconscious and we came down and I started with the chest compressions just like we had been taught during training,” Kim said.

Officer Eric Bernier could feel a faint pulse.

“I noticed over a period of one to two minutes he was taking more breaths and he changed colors from very deep blue to what I would say is a normal reddish color,” Bernier said.

With one particularly deep chest compression, the officers heard the man gasp.

“It was at that point that my hope got greater and I thought that this guy was going to pull through,” Bernier said.

Because of their quick actions, both Kim and officer Eric Bernier received the Torrance Police Department’s lifesaving award.

But the biggest reward was meeting the man and his family.

“He said he was unconscious for the most part and didn’t remember much of it until he got to the hospital, but he was thankful and so were his family members,” Kim said.

“There have been a few times in my career that reinforce the idea of why I’m here. This is definitely one that stands out immediately,” Bernier said. “This is why I’m here and this is why I do what I do.”

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