OHIO EMS honors Uhrichsville Fire, Smith Ambulance, MedFlight

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Uhrichsville Fire Department, Smith Ambulance and MedFlight 4 Recognized for Response to Oct. 10, 2019 Injury

COLUMBUS – Uhrichsville Fire Department, Smith Ambulance of Dover and MedFlight 4 Air Ambulance Crew were named Ohio EMS Stars in awards presented Wednesday at a ceremony recognizing Ohio’s outstanding prehospital providers .

The Ohio Emergency Medical Services Star of Life Awards Ceremony was presented by the EMS Division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, State Board of Emergency Medical Services, D Fire and Transportation and the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Uhrichsville, Smith and MedFlight crews have been recognized for providing life-saving care to a woman who was kicked twice in the head by a horse on October 10, 2019.

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Upon arrival, they found Cara Kohler, 51, sitting upright, according to a description released by Ohio Emergency Medical Services, which gave the following account:

She was confused and had suffered a large open skull wound. Her face was swollen and she had difficulty breathing.

Oxygen was administered using a bag-valve-mask device and the patient’s neck was stabilized with a cervical collar once MedFlight arrived.

But his condition began to deteriorate.

Attempts were made to intubate the patient, but due to the swelling of her wounds, these were unsuccessful.

An emergency attempt to ventilate her after performing a needle cricothyrotomy – a type of tracheotomy – also proved unsuccessful.

The MedFlght crew then performed a surgical cricothyrotomy to secure her airway to provide the oxygen she desperately needed.

“The exceptional and collaborative out-of-hospital care provided by MedFlight 4, Smith Ambulance Service and Uhrichsville Fire Department to their critically injured trauma patient was the difference between life and death,” said the Ohio EMS story. “Advanced airway maneuvers performed by EMS staff saved Ms. Kohler’s life and she was able to make a full recovery.”

The awards ceremony took place during National Emergency Medical Services Week, which continues through Saturday. It brings together local communities and medical personnel to raise awareness of the safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the daily life-saving services of frontline medicine.

“Ohio EMS responded to approximately 4 million emergency rides during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ohio EMS Executive Director Rob Wagoner said in a prepared statement. “EMS teams are always ready to provide critical and lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of the risk.”

Wednesday’s ceremony was the first held after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other area departments recognized as Ohio EMS Stars were the Wooster City Fire Department and the East Wayne Fire District. The reasons for their selections are outlined below, in stories provided by Ohio EMS

The Wooster department has been recognized for its response to a January 20, 2019 incident in which 14-year-old Ethan Rutherford suffered a heart attack. The department responded with a squad and battalion equipped with a snow plow as there had been six to nine inches of snow. The city’s street department cleared the roads to expedite their journey to the scene.

Upon arrival, Wooster EMS took over Ethan’s father’s CPR care. Ethan was defibrillated immediately and high quality CPR, airway management and medication was administered. After being defibrillated twice more at the scene, Ethan regained a pulse.

After being taken to Wooster Community Hospital, Ethan had to go to Akron Children’s Hospital. Due to bad weather, Akron Hospital was unable to send air or ground transportation. The Wooster Fire Department took him to Akron Children’s with assistance from the Wooster Street Service and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

East Wayne has been recognized for its response to an incident on December 22, 2019 involving two children and an adult who fell into an icy pond. Lt. Ryan Sprunger entered the water to rescue them.

The first child, Landon Hodge, 6, and Todd Farris, 56 and the children’s grandfather, were brought ashore safely. Landon’s younger brother Jenson, 4, was still underwater.

Sprunger, unaware of the hypothermia, pulled Jenson out of the freezing water and resuscitation efforts immediately began. Jenson was airlifted to Akron Children’s Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries two days later.

To honor Jenson’s memory and help save others from drowning, Sprunger created a 75-foot rope that allows a lifeguard to pull a victim from the water without having to enter the water.

The full stories of the Star of Life Awards winners are online at ems.ohio.gov.

The Star of Life, a symbol used to identify emergency medical services, features a six-pointed blue star surrounded by a white border. The Star of Life is displayed on ambulances, uniforms, and other items related to emergency medicine.

Contact Nancy at 330-364-8402 or [email protected]

On Twitter: @nmolnarTR

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