By Whitney Vickers
FAIRBORN — Seven Fairborn firefighters/paramedics were honored Monday for saving the life of a child who was experiencing cardiac arrest.
Upon the arrival of the responders during an Aug. 5 emergency, a child was found unconscious, unresponsive and pulse-less. The firefighters/paramedics took action by performing CPR, intubating the child, obtaining intravenous access and giving oxygen. When the patient was transported to the hospital, it was unclear whether or not the child would survive. However, the child is currently home and in the process of recovering.
“It was an incredible moment,” Chief Mike Riley said. “The severity of the injury and the unlikelihood of the return of circulation and breathing, and dealing with a pediatric patient was that much more challenging. It’s very rare, most of our patients are adults.”
Honorees were given life saving ribbons and certificates and include Battalion Chief Pat Ricketts, Lt. Brad Eckert, Lt. Ron Lewis, Firefighter Gene Thomas, Firefighter Justin Slone, Firefighter Sheri Wilson and Firefighter Craig Walter. Riley said although their job titles describe a firefighter, each of these individuals serve as paramedics as well.
“It’s great to recognize employees for great actions,” he said. “They did a great job, but they do a great job all the time. This situation had unique challenges. [They were a great] team and did what was best for the patient — that’s the basis for the award. It was perceived at the time that the child was unlikely to make it, so it’s worthwhile to recognize them.”
The station will normally recognize employees for this type of award on a yearly basis, but sometimes it will not. Riley feels that some emergencies are on another level, and this one was no exception to that.
“Most of them are parents and know the devastation a parent faces when presented with an emergency,” Riley said. “They controlled the scene and did their best. It was a heavy load, but they managed it with great professionalism. They’re just an amazing bunch.”