Each year the best Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are recognized at the annual Vital Signs conference; a conference hosted by the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of EMS. At the recent 2018 Vital Signs conference, five Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance providers were recognized for their response to a reported cardiac arrest on June 21st, 2018. Here is a copy of their award presentation:
As we all know, not every call we do in EMS is a dramatic life-saving call. Most of our calls, thankfully, are almost routine for us. However, we have had those calls that dramatically changed someone’s life and thereby the future for that patient and their family.
A member of the Vital Signs family had their lives changed by one of those calls. Many of you have seen a photographer taking pictures at the conference and at the annual EMS Memorial every year. That photographer, Mike Wren, is the staff photographer for the State Health Department.
On June 21, 2018 the Irondequoit and Pittsford lacrosse teams were playing against each other at the Barker Road Middle School in Pittsford NY. Marshall Wren, Mike Wren’s father, was in attendance watching the game and cheering on his niece.
At approximately 6 pm, Marshall Wren suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. As time stood still, those surrounding Marshall, did not stand still and sprang into action.
• Bystanders, some trained in CPR and some not, came to help.
• A Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy was there.
• A physician bystander.
• A lacrosse coach ran to the school to get the AED that is required to be in every school.
• 2 Pittsford Ambulances responded with EMT’s and a Paramedic.
The chain of survival was in full action. It was all coming together the way we read about it in our text books. Bystanders began CPR. The patient was shocked twice with the AED. Pulses regained. The patient was alive. The links of the chain were held together. Marshall arrested again in the ambulance and again at the hospital.
The outcome? Marshall Wren is alive today. After some alterations in his medications and an implanted pacemaker/defibrillator, his long-term prognosis is excellent.
And we are very honored to have with us today, Mr. Marshall Wren, along with his wife Karen and daughter Kathryn.
As a small token of our appreciation from the Vital Signs family to the responders who changed the future for the Wren family, we would like to present the first responders with a certificate of appreciation.
In attendance today, Dr. Brian Kubiak, MD (bystander at the scene); Members of the Pittsford Ambulance who responded – Daniel O’Connell EMT; Eric Fletcher, EMT; Sam Cooperman, EMT; AND William Scherberger, EMT student, who is now a certified EMT – what a way to start your EMS career! Unable to attend today were paramedic Stephen Page, civilian bystander Adam Tellier, and Coach Stephen Screib.
Please accept these certificates of appreciation, from all of us in the Vital Signs family, but especially, from the Wren family for not only what you did to change their lives, but for what you do every day. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!
A few statistics about cardiac arrest:
• Without intervention, cardiac arrest is not survivable
• Early intervention, early activation of the 911 system, prompt CPR and defibrillation with an AED, and prompt advanced cardiac life support are required for survival; these are the links in the American Heart Association ‘Chain of Survival’
• A bystander witnessed the cardiac arrest event in nearly 1/3 of out-of-hospital survivors, and took immediate life-saving action
• American Heart Association statistics from 2015 indicate even with these steps, the chance of surviving cardiac arrest outside of the hospital in the United States is approximately 8.3%
By these statistics, Mr. Wren had no more than a 3% chance of survival on June 21st. The swift action of the coaching staff from the Pittsford Central School District and the civilian bystanders on scene gave Mr. Wren a chance by implementing the first links in the chain of survival. The on and off-duty Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies, the Firefighters of the Pittsford Fire Department, and the Paramedic and EMTs from PVA brought that chain together. Swift, calm, decisive action by all with one common mission - save a life.
Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance extends our sincere thanks to our partners at the Pittsford Fire Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pittsford Central School District. We also recognize the citizens of Pittsford for their investment and partnership in our service to this community.
Daniel O’Connell, EMT
Eric Fletcher, EMT
Sam Cooperman, EMT
William Scherberger, EMT
Stephen Page, Paramedic
Gentlemen, job well done.