Local team honored for saving man’s life
STEVENSVILLE — The dramatic and well-orchestrated rescue of a 73-year-old man in cardiac arrest on the Bay Bridge in the middle of thousands of race contestants earned the Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services the Maryland Star of Life Award. Also earning
individual awards for that act were Queen Anne’s County EMT/PSDII Justin Parsons; Dorchester County EMT Charles Layfield and Paramedic Edward Dean; Charles County Paramedic Don Giampetroni; Preston VFD EMT Emma North; and Anne Arundel County FD EMT/FF Harvard Hohensee. The award is given each year by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.
Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services Director Scott Haas’ nomination letter tells the story. “On Sunday, November 8, 2015, the second annual 10K Across the Bay was held; bringing over 21,000 participants across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. This high-profile and well attended event swells the population of Queen Anne’s County by over 50 percent. In order to provide effective EMS resources, Queen Anne’s County DES enlists the help of neighboring EMS agencies, totaling over 65 personnel representing eight counties. These agencies supply transport units, gators, bike teams and EMS personnel to ensure a continuous EMS presence along the entire course.
“After a seemingly uneventful first half of the event, radio traffic erupted with a report of a man falling near mile marker 34.7. Bystanders witnessed a man collapse and noticed he was motionless. A number of civilian bystanders, as well as off duty EMT Harvard Hohensee, rolled the man onto his back and discovered his was apneic (not breathing) and pulse less. They initiated CPR and alerted the crew from Dorchester County EMS. Paramedic Edward Dean and EMT Charles Layfield were standing beside their unit when they heard a commotion and witnessed personnel performing CPR on the collapsed victim, just feet away from their paramedic unit. They applied their monitor and administered a defibrillation. The patient was quickly loaded into the paramedic unit and ALS care was continued.”
“Radio traffic was intense and Public Safety Dispatcher Justin Parsons coordinated the response of additional units to assist Dorchester County’s Paramedic Unit,” said Haas. “Paramedic Don Glampetroni of Charles County was nearby and assisted with patient care as the second ALS provider. Due to the large volume of runners on the bridge, the paramedic unit was slow to make their way to the Eastern Shore. The bridge was extremely congested and it was impossible to get additional resources up to the paramedic unit. However, waiting for them was Emma North of the Preston Volunteer Fire Company. Emma was staffing a gator (utility vehicle) near the base of the bridge, and joined the Dorchester crew as a driver, freeing up EMT Layfield to assist his partner in the back of the unit.”
Haas said the crew was then able to head across the westbound bridge, transporting to Anne Arundel Medical Center. They reported the patient had a return of spontaneous circulation.
Parsons and the Command Staff of the Queen Anne’s County Command Post worked with numerous agencies to assist with this incident. This included working with the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office to locate the patient’s wife and have her transported the hospital. Staff from AAMC were at the command post and made notifications to the hospital in preparation the man’s continuation of care. The command staff then turned their attention to relocating EMS resources to ensure continued coverage of the race.
“It is important to note,” said Haas, “The units and personnel involved in this successful resuscitation had never worked with one another. Personnel remained calm, professional and worked exceedingly well to provide remarkable patient care. This case exemplifies the chain of survival, incorporating bystander CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced care resulting in a successful defibrillation.”
“We organized an outstanding group of EMS providers from neighboring jurisdictions,” said Haas. “These individuals not only provided amazing support to this event, but exemplified the best in prehospital care. Follow up with AAMC indicated this patient survived to discharge without neurological deficit. Personnel from four different counties, having never worked with one another, came together, and truly saved a life.”
From left, Executive Director of MIEMSS Dr. Kevin Seaman, QA Emergency Planner David Rivett, Lt. Kevin Brenner, Paramedic Don Giampetroni, EMT Charles Layfield, Paramedic Edward Dean, EMS Board Member Dr. Dany Westerband, QA DES Assistant Chief Scott Wheatley, EMT/FF Harvard Hohensee, QA Commissioner Mark Anderson and Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Larry Hogan’s office Roy McGrath.