Seven emergency responders, three with the Fayetteville Fire Department and four with Lincoln Health System’s Emergency Medical Service, were honored Tuesday evening for their efforts July 2, efforts that resulted in the life of a child being saved.
“Each and every day first responders across this nation rise from their beds to say goodbye to family members or begin a day of their calling with uncertainties of how the day will end,” said Fire Chief Jim Baldwin, during last week’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. “Firefighters, police officers, emergency medical personal and emergency communication dispatchers have no prelude to what events might unfold but willingly put themselves into a position to be an intercessor for others.
“No two days are the same, and responders may go for a time of what the world may view as insignificant calls – to someone, each call is important,” he said. “Responders may spend their careers with little or no attention to themselves — most do not desire it — however, there are times that call for attention.”
One such time came July 2, 2019, said the chief, adding that the day started like any other.
“Shift change, hand off reports, change your equipment, wash your apparatus, etc.,” he said. “At 0836 in the morning, the house bell rang for a medical call, and Station 1, Engine 1 crew responded.”
The Engine 1 crew and the first EMS unit arrived on the scene – “The patient was not breathing and pulseless,” said Baldwin, reading from the crew’s run report. “CPR was immediately started, and Vanderbilt LifeFlight notified and went en route.”
The second EMS unit arrived on the scene as ventilations continued, he said, explaining that the responders’ efforts were successful – “[The] return of spontaneous circulation was achieved, strong carotid pulses were present,” he said, adding that upon arrival at Lincoln Medical Center, the patient was transferred to the waiting LifeFlight helicopter.
Citing cardiac survival statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the chief said pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in two to eight children per 100,000 persons each year, with only six to 27 percent surviving to the point of hospital discharge. Although the survival rate is higher in traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrests than non-traumatic, the proportion surviving to hospital discharge remains low, he said, adding that only 10.7 percent of children who sustained such events survived last year.
“Although some, including those who we are honoring tonight, would argue that they were just doing their job, this team of responders should be recognized for their quick actions and sharp skills in the care that they provided for this minor child,” he said. “At this time, the City of Fayetteville and Fayetteville Fire Department would like to thank this team and honor them tonight with Fayetteville Fire Department Life Saving Awards.”
Honored were Capt. Jeff Smartt, an emergency medical responder; Firefighter Kole Jean; Firefighter Dalton Smartt, an advanced emergency medical technician; Chad Brown, a critical care paramedic and assistant director of LHS EMS; Kevin Strickland, a paramedic; EMT Marty Mathis; and Casey Durham, a paramedic.