DES paramedics, police save motorist in cardiac arrest
September 28, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Police officers, firefighters and paramedics from the Directorate of Emergency Services have been recommended for the Installation Management Command's Heroes of the Day award after reviving, stabilizing and transporting a motorist who went into cardiac arrest just after passing through the Route 715 gate on Maryland Boulevard Sept. 9.
Responding personnel included police officers Thomas DeMaria, Chris Taylor and William Mullins; paramedics Tim Richmond and Scott Manglass; firefighters Henry Hom, Loren Brown, Robert Soto and Johns Frank; dispatcher John Barr; Assistant Fire Chief David Smith and Fire Capt. George Hollenbaugh.
According to Mike Slayman, assistant chief of EMS, police officers noticed the woman's car pull over and stop after she passed through the gate. The officers approached the car and found the woman unresponsive. They immediately removed her from the car, administered CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), retrieved an AED (automated external defibrillator) from the guard house, and defibrillated her. Officers were assisted by Sgt. McKitrick from Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic who was passing through the gate at the same time. Care was provided until paramedics arrived.
"When they arrived on the scene they found a weak pulse and took it from there," Slayman said.
"The woman was transported to Upper Chesapeake Hospital in Bel Air where she remained hospitalized for several days before being released to a rehabilitation facility.
Slayman said the quick thinking of the police officers probably saved the woman's life.
"This is something police don't normally deal with. For them to react so rapidly speaks volumes. They were probably trained on the AED at the (former) APG police academy. If they had not utilized the AED when they did we would have had a 30 percent less chance of a successful outcome."
Slayman, who runs the CPR/AED classes held the third Wednesday of each month for APG employees, said the incident exemplifies the need for continued training. Though AED's are located in most high-traffic or heavily populated buildings on post the need remains for more people to attend the training, he said.
"Overall, the better the training you provide, the better the success rate you'll have. We want to decrease the response time by training those first on the scene -- the coworkers. It's about giving people what they need to help themselves."
"Fire prevention works because of the educational programs. This should work the same way. Education, maintenance, inspections and training -- it all comes together. We have to be proactive instead of reactive."
He added that DES firefighters and paramedics train constantly to keep their skills sharp.
"I can't say enough about the importance of this program," he said. "This call required thinking and they did a fantastic job. Everyone involved deserves a pat on the back."