A life saving ride


A Warwick Fire Department rescue team was recently recognized with the EMS Pride Award at a meeting of the State Ambulance Advisory Board held at the Knight Campus of CCRI. The award was made on the basis of the recommendation of Dr. Vincent Varamo, who meets regularly with the City’s Emergency Medical Services Chief as part of the department’s Quality Assurance program. The award was made of the basis of a call earlier this summer. According to Varamo, the pre-hospital cardiac arrest was unusual in two respects. “The moment of cardiac arrest was witnessed by the Rescue personnel after an initial assessment and a 12 lead ekg. The Rescue was preparing to leave the scene and drive the patient emergently to the hospital. The patient had been fully alert, oriented, had stable vital signs, and there was no warning that the patient was about to arrest before the Engine company left the address to go back in service. When the monitored patient suddenly became unresponsive, life-preserving CPR was immediately initiated, and the Engine company was recalled to the scene.” There was more to it, however. “Normally, having trained personnel and equipment witness the cardiac arrest increases the likelihood of quickly restoring a normal heart rhythm. The second unusual aspect to this case was the patient did not respond to multiple applications of electrical and medicinal therapies in the field. While unsuccessful in restoring spontaneous circulation before arriving at the emergency room, their prompt action, the high performance CPR, and skillful use of advanced cardiac care therapies provided enough oxygen to the patient’s brain and vitals organs. Excellent communication en route allowed a seamless transfer to the emergency room staff upon arrival. The continued in-hospital advanced cardiac interventions were finally able to restore a perfusing heart rhythm in this patient. The patient was successfully discharged by the hospital, the goal and gold standard of all pre-hospital cardiac arrest episodes,” Varamo writes. Here Mayor Joseph J. Solomon recognizes the team during the awards ceremony. They are from left: Rescue Lieutenant Michael Carvalho, Private Kevin Conway and Private Robert Johnson. Also pictured is Christopher Conley, who as an intern was a rider on the call. Private Gary Lavoie and Fire Lieutenant James P. McDermott were also honored with an EMS Pride Award for CPR. McDermott noted via email following the publishing of this story that " the same crews resuscitated three individuals with CPR on the same evening. A very uncommon and phenomenal result due to the hard work, training, and dedication of these personnel." (Warwick Beacon photo)


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