St. Mary’s Medical Center recognized the Village of Tequesta’s Police Department (TPD) and Fire Rescue (TFR) on February 21st for their quick, professional and lifesaving response to an electrocution call last September. Initially dispatched as a person who may have been “cut badly”, TPD Corporals Blanc and Waychowsky and Officer Donadio arrived on scene where they found the victim unconscious, not breathing, and with blue skin. TPD observed a bystander, later identified as the homeowner, Mark Lavery rendering CPR on the victim. Lying on ground nearby was a 24-foot extension ladder. The victim’s co-workers said he had been at the top of the ladder when he fell and may have been electrocuted.
TPD Officers efficiently assessed the scene and initiated early high quality CPR on the victim. Corporals Blanc and Waychowsky, while giving CPR, smelled the presence of something burning. Simultaneously during the life saving efforts, TPD was able to relay critical information to TFR units on the condition of the patient and the cause of the incident (subject in cardiac arrest and possibly electrocuted), which greatly enhanced Fire’s ability to provide patient care and safely secure the scene.
Initially dispatched by Fire Rescue as a routine “traumatic injury”, the crew of Rescue 85 (Firefighter Adam Evans and Firefighter Adam Stark) quickly upgraded the response by calling for the Engine and placing Trauma Hawk on standby. Upon arrival of Engine 85, the crew (Capt. James Trube, Firefighter Angela Schumacher, and Firefighter Michael Gallagher) quickly identified and secured the hazard. Rescue personnel noted smoke was still coming from the foot of the ladder on the ground as well as at the top of the ladder where it had made contact with the tree. A trauma alert was called by Firefighter/Paramedic Stark and a unified effort began between police and fire who worked to render aid to the victim. CPR was continued and the patient was defibrillated and converted to an organized rhythm after the initial defibrillation. Once pulses returned and the patient began to gasp, Fire Rescue personnel established two IV’S and continued to assist ventilations, and the patient was transported to the helicopter-landing zone.
Due to the quick response and immediate split second decisions of our public safety personnel, the patients vitals improved throughout the transport to the landing zone with the patients ability to breath on his own increasing throughout trip. Additional resources from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue (EMS 19, Engine 18 and Trauma Hawk) were requested and they too assisted in the successful transfer of the patient to St. Mary’s Medical Center via the landing zone (E18) and Trauma Hawk flight team.
During the recognition, the surgeon praised and complimented the rapid response of our public safety units explaining how he as the surgeon could not have been successful without their decisions and actions during the initial medical care. Additionally, the Village appreciates the lifesaving efforts of Mark Lavery who administered CPR until police arrived.