Video shows response to an overdose
CENTREVILLE — A few members of the Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Ser vices EMS Division D-Shift were featured in a video for the latest lip sync challenge. Queen Anne’s County dedicated the month of September to substance abuse awareness and the “Going Purple” initiative. The video depicts an overdose and response by EMS.
While not graphic, the video brings to light the amount of response a non-breathing patient gets in Queen Anne’s County. A paramedic ambulance, BLS ambulance, engine company, and EMS duty officer brings a minimum of eight individuals to the patient, said DES Assistant Chief Scott Wheatley.
This response is often a combination of Queen Anne’s County volunteer and career departments, Wheatley said, adding, “We are blessed the system works so well together and we all stand and function together as one.”
The popular song, “Don’t Let Me Down” released in 2016 by The Chainsmokers was selected by the group after considering a few different songs as the words reinforced the point of view of the victim, as well as the providers, when facing death, Wheatley said.
Lieutenant Debi Hopkins portrays an overdose victim who, after receiving administration of naloxone (the medication carried by first responders to revive overdose victims), becomes unresponsive and ultimately requires full life-saving measures. Paramedics Kelley Payne, Michael McCartney and Melissa Freeman and EMT’s Andrew Henkle and Casey Amos play themselves.
Behind the scenes were Community Emergency Response Team coordinator Joe Cichocki, who served as director of the video, and the “ever-amazing” Queen Anne’s County Television crew, said Wheatley.
“Crashing, hit a wall, Right now I need a miracle ... Stranded reaching out” are the song’s opening lyrics. A refrain that aptly seems like a victim’s cry for help, while the song reiterates, “I need you right now. So, don’t let me down”.
The impact these emergency response calls has on an EMS provider is significant, Wheatley said. “The brain functions as a file cabinet. The memories of calls get filed away one after another. At any point, the file cabinet can open a file and that memory of a child, adult, young, or old dying in front of you comes back around. The point of this is we have to take care of each other and ourselves in this field.”
Wheatley expressed his concern for providers who often experience the physical and emotional toll from overdoses.
“Everyone has their own way of blowing off stress and steam, but it is a real concern that the continued effects of death and dying plays a real role in our providers’ health and safety,” he said.
“If one life is saved, touched, or public awareness is spread,” Wheatley said, “then the goal (of this video outreach) has been met. In addition, a lot of the public never interact or see EMS or the fire department until the ‘worst day of their lives.’ By seeing the videos that the department will continue to publish hopefully the public will understand the extent of the role the Department of Emergency Services has.”
To watch the video, go to myeasternshoremd.com, visit QACTV on the web or follow the link https://youtu.be/tHME6eQia9Y.
A video by Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services takes a closer look at the response from EMS to an overdose victim.