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Saturday, July 4th, 2009 09:20 am
First Responders save Log Hill man in cardiac arrest

Shortly after 1 a.m. last Sunday, Ouray County Emergency Medical Services Rural First Responder Corps members successfully told the Grim Reaper "Not Today!" for one north county resident.

EMS Chief Paramedic Norm Rooker said OCEMS was dispatched to an address near County Road 22 and CR 1 for a cardiac arrest, CPR in progress.

The patient had gotten up out of bed and collapsed in front of his wife, who immediately called 911. Their daughter began CPR.

The Ridgway ambulance was dispatched to the location, but due to the remoteness of the address, arrived 24 minutes after dispatch.

Fortunately, two members of the OCEMS Rural First Responder Corps, Kit and Randy Cassingham responded from their Log Hill Mesa residence directly to the scene.

Rural First Responder Corps members are trained to the First Responder level or higher, are equipped with medical aid bags, portable oxygen bottles and an AED, an Automatic External Defibrillator.

An AED is a device that for certain lethal cardiac electrical rhythms will deliver a measured shock in an effort to convert the uncoordinated electrical activity of the heart back into a perfusing rhythm.

Kit and Randy Cassingham arrived on scene 11 minutes from the initial call for help and were able to successfully shock the patient's heart back into a perfusing rhythm 13 minutes after the call originated. When the Ridgway ambulance crew arrived, they found a patient with a pulse and good blood pressure.

The patient was transported to Montrose Memorial Hospital where he was stabilized and transferred to St. Mary's Hospital.

Rooker said OCEMS is very proud of all of its 67 volunteers who staff the two front-line ambulances located in Ridgway and Ouray, Squad 11, the Haz Mat Team and the Rural First Responder Corps.

"Sunday morning's call is just the latest example of the service providing the best rescue and medical care possible for the visitors and residents of the county," said Rooker.

If readers are interested in learning more about the OC EMS Rural First Responder Corps, especially in the Log Hill, Pleasant Valley and Elk Meadows areas, please contact the OC EMS office at 325-7275.
Saturday, July 4th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
Were you involved? I read Cassingham's account, but didn't realize it was in your area.
Saturday, July 4th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I was on the ambulance crew that night. We met them at the patient's house and took him to the ER before he was helicoptered out.