Members of the Elkin Rescue Squad were recognized for their lifesaving efforts Tuesday on numerous calls, including a July electrocution at Elkin Elementary School. The squad also was the recipient of a donation to assist in sports injuries.
Kara Evans with Surry County Emergency Services praised the squad members for the work they’ve done on calls. “You all are doing excellent work. I’ve been on calls with you all before, and when I open that side door or I see you coming into a house, it warms my heart because I know I’m going to get the help that I need,” she said. “I cannot do my job to the best of my ability without you guys.”
She encouraged them to continue “doing good for the community” and work hard. “I think you represent the city of Elkin and the county of Surry very well, and the Elkin Rescue Squad as well,” Evans said.
Several members were presented with lifesave awards, meaning they performed lifesaving steps such as CPR, compressions or ventilation to get a patient back.
On July 12, members of Elkin Rescue Squad, Elkin Fire Department and Surry County EMS were dispatched to Elkin Elementary School when a contract worker was electrocuted and fell from a ladder. The 53-year-old man suffered cardiac arrest and medical responders performed CPR and were able to regain a pulse.
“That is a call that nobody wants to hear,” Evans said, noting she was working that day and listened to the call. “I heard all of y’all check en route and I was listening to everybody. I could hear some excitement in some of your voices and some of you were very calm.
“I did speak with John Shelton [county emergency services director], David Speight and Corey Carson, and he said without you guys that call would not have gone as smoothly as it did,” she said. “When I say it went smoothly, it went very smoothly, everybody was calm, cool, collected and did their jobs, and everybody worked together.”
Evans said county EMS personnel have checked on the man on several occasions since the electrocution. “The man is alive today up walking around. He has no prior medical history before that, and now he is still walking around. He got a catherization and went home a week later,” she said.
“So thank you guys very much for everything you did,” Evans said. “That call is now being used as a teaching case for everybody in the county.”
Members receiving lifesave awards for the electrocution call as well as a couple of calls at local nursing homes included William Rountree with one save; Tommy Wheeler with one save; Brian Holloway with one save; Michael Bovender with one save; Jordan Harrelson with two saves; Tim Darnell with two saves; and Jane Hendrick with three saves.
Members of the Elkin Fire Department who worked the electrocution call also are expected to receive save awards at a future date.
Also during Monday’s meeting, Jim Hinshaw with the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma in Winston-Salem presented the squad with two kits to be used for sporting injuries.
“I know last year you were instrumental in Surry County in being proactive in football emergencies and spine injuries in athletes,” Hinshaw said during the presentation. “You guys were the first to reach out to the Childress Institute to get this kind of training.”
He said, through grants from the North Carolina Office of EMS, the Winston-Salem Foundation and other granting sources, the institute is giving back to the community in an effort to prevent injuries and improve pre-hospital treatment care in the state.
“What we like to do is give people the equipment, we’ve found over time and with you guys the last couple of years, most EMS agencies don’t have the equipment they need to remove a face mask or a helmet with potential spinal injuries, so those who have participated in the training are going to get kits to put in each of your two ambulances,” Hinshaw said.
The kits include Snap-On drils, face mask cutters, airway devices, screwdrivers and more.
“I feel like Santa Claus in his sleigh in the back of my suburban as I travel through western North Caqrolina the next couple of days delivering goodies to support children before the holidays,” Hinshaw said.
“I’m glad you guys are so proactive when it comes to sports injuries and the kids in your community,” he said.
Elkin Rescue Squad Chief Jeff Whitaker thanked Evans and Hinshaw for their presentations. “It is an honor to work with these people and get recognized,” he said. “We do appreciate it.”
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.