Paramedics honoured for life-saving actions - Nov. 24, 2016
Several first responders from the region were recognized for their life-saving skills by Huron County Council during a special ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, a couple, the Barkleys, from Niagara Falls, Ontario were visiting the Zurich Bean Festival for the annual car show. They arrived early with other family members and decided to go to the arena for the Zurich Minor Athletic Association breakfast.
Upon entering the ice surface, Sandra Barkley collapsed after having a sudden cardiac arrest. Zurich Firefighters Marty Merner, Doug Findlay and retired paramedic Brian Steckle came to her aid. They quickly did an assessment and found her to be without vital signs, at which point CPR was initiated. These first responders called 911 and used the public access defibrillator from the Zurich arena to administer a shock. Upon calling 911, Ambulance Communication Officer (ACO) call-taker Kellie Lawson and ACO Alicia Dodds assisted the responders on scene with instructions for Barkley’s care and dispatched an ambulance.
Huron County Paramedic Services crew Mitchel Homuth and Marion Taylor were at the Zurich station and subsequently arrived to the scene within three minutes of being contacted. Upon arrival they found Barkley to be unconscious but with a pulse. After completing their assessments and stabilizing Barkley, the crew transported her to South Huron Hospital with District Chief David Erb attending as primary care paramedic (PCP) Homuth felt there was a possibility of re-arrest. To their amazement, upon arrival at South Huron Hospital, Barkley was conscious and able to answer simple questions. After being stabilized further at South Huron Hospital the crew transported Barkley to London for further treatment.
The second life-saving incident took place on Wednesday, Aug. 31 when the London Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC) received a 911 call for an individual in medical distress in the Town of Goderich. ACO Virginia Davis took the call from Allan Pollard’s wife and assisted her over the phone to provide first aid to her husband, who was suffering chest pain. At the same time, ACO Sheri Berndt was dispatching an ambulance from the Huron County Paramedic Services’ Goderich station. Pollard’s condition worsened and ACO Davis listened to Pollard’s breathing over the phone and attempted to have the woman get her husband to the floor to start CPR as she recognized he was having agonal respirations. She was unable to do this as she could not lift her husband.
Huron County Paramedic Services PCP crew Heather Malley and Gary Renaud were dispatched to the residence and upon arrival assessed Pollard and found that he had now suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. PCP Malley and PCP Renaud initiated their medical directive for sudden cardiac arrest. CPR was started by PCP Renaud while PCP Malley attached the cardiac monitor. PCP Malley was then able to shock Pollard. After a reassessment his pulse had returned.
As Pollard was being prepared for transport he experienced another cardiac arrest. A subsequent shock was administered by PCP Malley. After two minutes of CPR, Pollard was reassessed and a strong carotid pulse was found. PCPs David Wagner and David Ludwig arrived to assist in removing him from his house where he became semi-conscious.
The crew then transported Pollard to Alexandra Marine and General Hospital where he was stabilized. The crew then transported Pollard to St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener for further treatment.