BILOXI — Saving the life of a man in cardiac arrest and helping two children with medical emergencies have earned first-responders across Harrison County meritorious service awards from American Medical Response.
Six firefighters and paramedics received the awards Tuesday at AMR’s Emergency Medical Service Summit at Four Points by Sheraton.
Their response and lifesaving measures show that sometimes the biggest part of emergency medical care is the act of caring, said Butch Oberhoff, AMR regional governmental relations manager.
Firefighters Terry Johnson and Mike McKeown and paramedic Joel Ellzie were credited with saving the life of a man who had no heartbeat and wasn’t breathing.
Johnson and McKeown are Gulfport firefighters who volunteer with the Harrison County Fire Service. They had responded along with Ellzie, of AMR.
The men performed CPR for two minutes and other lifesaving measures, and the man was resuscitated, though unconscious. He was discharged from a hospital a week later.
“The man’s family calls these guys their angels,” Oberhoff said. “They gave him back to his family.”
Gulfport firefighter Matt Faul was credited with saving an 11-year-old boy who was choking on food at a school cafeteria. Faul was being trained as a paramedic and riding with an AMR team when the call for help came in.
Faul removed the obstruction from the boy’s airway and stayed by his side as he was taken to a hospital.
“I was a bit nervous, but I was working with a good team that is able to keep their cool. Few things razzle them.”
AMR paramedics Alaina Trocano and Stephen Marks were honored for their compassion in responding to a 9-year-old girl who had a seizure at a Gulfport elementary school.
They said the girl was terrified and panicking, and her mother was petrified.
The girl is the daughter of Gulfport police Cmdr. Chris Loposser and his wife, Candice.
“Those of us who work in public safety see this kind of thing all the time, but when it’s your child, it’s different,” Loposser said. “My wife and I were concerned that the additional stress would cause our daughter to have another seizure. (Trocano’s and Marks’) calm reassurances and kindness made it easier to deal with this unexpected event.”
Paramedics gave the girl a stuffed animal to distract her as she left school on an ambulance.
Paramedics often find they also need to care for relatives who are present, and not just the patient, Marks said.
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