At the October meeting of the fire district board of Directors, Woodburn firefighters, 9-1-1 dispatchers and Woodburn Ambulance Service paramedics came together with a cardiac arrest survivor and his family to celebrate the actions taken that saved his life.
On June 20, 2023, a 78-year-old man was clearing trees and splitting firewood at his home near Gervais when he experienced a sudden cardiac arrest. A friend that was working with him recognized the symptoms and immediately began CPR. The friend took a quick break from chest compressions and ran into the house to alert the victim’s wife who called 9-1-1. He then he went back to the patient to continue CPR until first responders arrived.
9-1-1 call taker Aleisha Adams received the call at METCOM and dispatcher Jayde Stout dispatched first responders less than one minute after the call was received. Adams then stayed on the line with the patient’s wife to gather more information, provide CPR coaching and talk with her until crews arrived.
Minutes later, a crew of Woodburn firefighters and a paramedics from Woodburn Ambulance Service arrived to find an unconscious man with no pulse that was not breathing. Woodburn Ambulance Paramedic Daniel Neazor assumed the role of paramedic in charge and directed Woodburn Fire Paramedics Ryan Johnson and Jorden Jacobucci who immediately began advanced life support treatments. Firefighter Dylan Selleck continued CPR and attached the Lucas device, a tool that automatically delivers chest compressions until the patient’s heart is restarted. Lieutenant Jacobucci gathered patient information, documented the patient treatments and coordinated communications with METCOM. Johnson and Jorden Jacobucci administered drugs to stimulate the heart, inserted a breathing tube to provide oxygen and used a defibrillator to deliver shocks that restarted the patient’s heart. The patient was revived at the scene and was transported to Salem hospital by Woodburn Ambulance Service. The patient was discharged from the hospital two weeks later and has since made a full recovery. He recently returned from a six-day Alaskan cruise with friends and family including his newest grand baby.
Woodburn Fire Chief Joe Budge shared, “It is important to recognize the efforts that saved this man’s life and to celebrate with him and his family. This incident provides a great example of the outstanding coordination, life-saving capabilities and superb medical service that is provided by the area’s dispatchers and first responders that occurs on a daily basis. This incident also highlights the importance of bystander CPR that will sustain the life of a cardiac arrest patient until first responders arrive.”
Data from the American Heart Association (AHA) shows that nearly 350,000 people in the United States experience an out-of hospital cardiac arrest every year with only about 10% that survive. The chance of survival increases dramatically when a person trained in CPR is available to provide life sustaining chest compressions within the first few minutes after a cardiac arrest occurs. Bystander CPR is a critical link in the chain of survival with the chance of surviving decreasing by 10% for every minute that passes without chest compressions being performed. The latest CPR performance standard from AHA has eliminated the mouth-to-mouth breathing portion of CPR that has often been a barrier for bystanders to provide CPR to a stranger. In support of the performance standard change, AHA cites studies that show chest compressions alone or “hands only CPR” is effective in sustaining life until first responders arrive.
Woodburn Fire Paramedic Ryan Johnson shared, “Unfortunately bystander CPR does not happen very often. When the heart stops so does the blood that delivers oxygen to vital organs and the brain. Chest compressions keep the blood moving and the brain supplied with oxygen. Cardiac arrest patients that do not receive CPR within the first few minutes rarely survive”. Paramedic Daniel Neazor with Woodburn Ambulance Service added, “The friend who performed CPR is the one who saved this gentleman’s life. When we arrived, we just carried on what he had already started.”
METCOM dispatchers, Woodburn Firefighters and Woodburn Ambulance paramedics are all working together to do their part in the cardiac chain of survival and would like to encourage everyone in the community to learn CPR. The Woodburn Fire District regularly offers CPR classes with tuition assistance provided by local businesses and civic groups.
To learn more or register for a CPR class, go to www.woodburnfire.com/cpr.