On Friday, August 6, 2021, a team of local volunteer firefighters, while employed as firefighting instructors at the Joseph Sacco Firefighting and Safety School in Valley Lee, MD, utilized their knowledge and skills to save the life of a man in full cardiac arrest.
Gary Joy, Matt Rogers, and Robbie Springer, all members of the Second District VFD&RS in Valley Lee, as well as John Tennyson of the Seventh District VFD in Avenue, MD, and Brian Ticson and Kevin Molitor of the Bay District VFD in Lexington Park, MD. teamed up in the rescue effort.
The Joseph Sacco Firefighting and Safety School is part of the Seafarer’s International Union affiliated Paul Hall Center and Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship Campus in Piney Point, whose mission is to train members of the United States Merchant Marine Service.
During the late morning hours of that hot, muggy day, students and instructors were finishing up some firefighting training scenarios when one of the students suddenly became unresponsive. Reacting quickly, the instructors quickly assessed the patient and determined that he was pulseless and not breathing. Several instructors immediately began performing cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while another retrieved an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Following activation of the AED, a shock was administered to the patient with no apparent effect. CPR was continued for two additional minutes, and a second shock was administered. Immediately following the second shock, it was determined that the patient had a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and was breathing. Upon arrival of paramedics, it was further determined that the patient was suffering from a severe heart attack.
The patient was then transported by ambulance to the Second District Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad in Valley Lee, where the Maryland State Police medivac helicopter “Trooper 7” awaited. The patient was air lifted to Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton, MD where advanced cardiac care and procedures were performed.
On August 16, 2021, after follow-up care, it was determined that the patient had made a full recovery, and was on the way home to Texas.
There is no doubt that the experience, training, and quick thinking under adverse conditions of the volunteer firefighters previously mentioned above saved this patient’s life and were linked to his positive recovery.
The actions of these firefighters are in the highest tradition of the fire and emergency medical services. The Second District Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad congratulates you on your actions in this life saving event, and is proud of each of you for your actions.