HELEMANO MILITARY RESERVATION, Hawai’i — In the heart of Helemano Military Reservation, where urgent calls for help are met with swift responses, the power of collaboration between the Federal Fire Department, local Honolulu Emergency Medical Services, and the Hawaii Fire Department stands testament to the life-saving impact of mutual aid agreements.
On a critical day, the seamless partnership between these agencies was on full display during a cardiac arrest emergency involving Sgt. Dustin Charles Woodmansee of the 13th Military Police Detachment. The harrowing event, which saw Sgt. Woodmansee fighting for his life, underscores the vital role of interagency cooperation in emergency response.
Mateo Mariano, emergency medical technician, Honolulu Emergency Medical Services, a key responder, recalls the intensity of the situation: "My role was to assist my paramedic partner in every way possible, from EKG monitoring to applying defibrillation pads." His efforts, alongside those of Lead Paramedic Shalei Meneses, paramedic, Honolulu Emergency Medical Services, were crucial in stabilizing Sgt. Woodmansee.
Meneses, reflecting on the incident, shares, "It started as a seizure call and escalated to cardiac arrest. The rapid response from FedFire, who were on the scene performing CPR when we arrived, was crucial."
This sentiment of collaborative effort is echoed by Captain Alon of the Federal Fire Department. "It was a day where everyone came together – EMS, FedFire, everyone. The result was we saved a life, not just one but an entire family," he states, highlighting the broader impact of their actions.
Brittany Woodmansee, Sgt. Woodmansee's wife, played a pivotal role in the initial response. "I started CPR until the fire department arrived. Thanks to their quick actions and the care at Tripler ICU, my husband is here today, walking and talking," she gratefully shares.
Jonathan Poe, battalion chief of the Federal Fire Department, sheds light on the mechanics behind such coordinated responses. "When our resources are stretched, the mutual aid agreement with city and county is a lifesaver. HFD and our teams have a strong working relationship, and it shows in emergencies like this," he explains.
This mutual aid agreement ensures that when one agency is tied up, others step in seamlessly. "We have a system where city and county's 911 calls are coordinated with our dispatch. This means quicker response times, more hands on deck, and ultimately, more lives saved," Poe adds.
The story of Sgt. Woodmansee’s survival is a compelling example of how mutual aid agreements transcend mere policy, becoming a lifeline for those in dire need. His experience, from the initial seizure to his miraculous recovery, is a testament to the dedication and skill of the first responders and medical staff involved.
"I'm here because of the quick actions of EMS and the excellent care at Tripler. I can't thank everyone enough," says Sgt. Woodmansee, expressing his gratitude.
This incident in HMR is more than just a successful emergency response. It's a narrative of unity, skill, and the unwavering commitment of various agencies working together to save lives. It's a reminder of how crucial these agreements are in ensuring that when a call for help rings out, it's answered by a unified front, ready to do whatever it takes to bring a person back from the brink.