The Dakota County EMS Council celebrated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week May 19. The council awarded first responders and citizens for saving the lives of adults in cardiac arrest, a young child who wasn't breathing, and helping a woman with the emergency delivery of her baby.
Outstanding EMS Response & Outstanding EMS Actions by a Citizen
Individuals recognized: South St. Paul police officers Emily Danner, Jessica Fuchs and Melissa Gruenewald
Agency recognized: South St. Paul Police Department
Citizens recognized: Stacey and Rick Cerda
Nominated by: South Metro Assistant Fire Chief Terry Johnson
The South Metro Fire Department (SMFD) was paged to a structure fire Jan. 4, 2022 on Dodd Road in West St. Paul. While en route to the fire, SMFD units were notified of a cardiac arrest in South St. Paul. Knowing no SMFD units were available to respond to the cardiac arrest, dispatchers notified the South St. Paul Police Department. Three officers — Danner, Fuchs and Gruenewald — responded.
The officers found an elderly man on the dining room floor in cardiac arrest. His daughter, an emergency room nurse, was performing CPR. The officers assisted with CPR and used a bag valve mask for respirations and an automated external defibrillator (AED). One shock using the AED was successful, and the officers were able to place the patient in a recovery position.
Two South Metro Fire units cleared the structure fire and responded to the cardiac arrest incident. They found the patient recovering while still being attended to by the three police officers and his daughter. The patient was beginning to regain consciousness. By the time the patient was in an ambulance, he was stable.
Outstanding EMS Actions by a Citizen
Citizen recognized: Jarrod Spriggs
Nominated by: Burnsville Assistant Fire Chief Neal Dwyer
On Nov. 23, 2021 and again on March 12, 2022, Burnsville firefighters responded to cardiac arrest victims at ProKart Indoor Racing. At each incident, crews arrived to find Spriggs, an employee, performing CPR and using an AED to help resuscitate the victims. Both victims began breathing and survived due to Spriggs' quick response.
Outstanding EMS Response
Individuals recognized: Eagan firefighters Jeff Bahrke, Jacob Cordt and Rob Kewitsch
Agency recognized: Eagan Fire Department
Nominated by: Eagan Fire Deputy Chief Kip Springer
On Dec. 29, 2021, Eagan firefighters were dispatched to a residence for a 34-year-old woman in labor. They arrived and found the patient on the bathroom floor in extreme pain and the baby crowning. They worked as a team to deliver the baby, which required manual manipulation due to baby's shoulders in a non-traditional birthing position. The mother and baby were treated by the crew for five minutes following birth until the ambulance arrived.
In the best settings, childbirth can be difficult. In this case — a delivery during the holidays, on a bathroom floor and without desired hospital equipment — the crew did an outstanding job of caring for both mother and baby during the delivery and afterward. One firefighter even rode in the ambulance to support the mother and baby. This was a best-case outcome for a difficult medical situation for both mother and baby.
Outstanding EMS Response
Individuals recognized: Inver Grove Heights police Sgt. Dane Winget and officers Timothy Gates and Steven Kuzel
Agency recognized: Inver Grove Heights Police Department
Nominated by: Inver Grove Heights Police Commander Joshua Otis
On Feb. 12, 2022, police were dispatched to the 6100 block of Carmen Avenue in Inver Grove Heights for a 2-year-old girl who was unconscious and not breathing. Officers arrived and started life-saving measures. Gates performed chest compressions, Winget performed breaths through a bag valve mask and Kuzel held the girl's head. After three minutes, the officers were able to get the young girl's pulse back. Inver Grove Heights firefighters and paramedics arrived and stabilized the girl's pulse. Once in the ambulance, she was intubated and transported to the hospital.