COLUMBUS — During National EMS Week, the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire and Transportation Services, and The Department of Public Safety, Division of EMS hand out Star of Life awards to departments who have seen outstanding achievement and rise above the day-to-day excellence of the system.
This year, the City of Eaton Fire and EMS received one such award. According to Fire Chief Brian Smith, the ceremony was held at the ODOT auditorium in Columbus on Tuesday, May 22.
These awards are meant as a tribute to those individuals and organizations whose contribution go beyond their basic duties and who represent the Fire and EMS profession honorably. Smith said, the Awards Selection Panel evaluated nominations based upon achievement of excellence in areas of patient care, public access, public education and training, disaster preparedness, and outstanding service to their communities.
Eaton Fire and EMS was nominated for its service following an accident on April 6, 2017. The department requested MedFlight 8 to respond to a multi-vehicle collision involving patient Diana Dillow. Her vehicle had massive damage resulting in orthopedic and respiratory trauma which left her unresponsive and fighting to survive. MedFlight 8’s crew worked with the Eaton Fire and EMS team who provided excellent care and the best chance for her survival.
The team medicated and intubated Dillow while an Eaton paramedic performed needle decompression for her severe chest injury with great skill and success. She was also treated for hemorrhagic shock in addition to other injuries. After Dillow’s airway was controlled, she was secured and then transported by helicopter within ten minutes. The MedFlight crew initiated additional care during the seven minute transport to Kettering Medical Center.
Upon arrival, the Kettering team started rapid blood infusion, inserted a chest tube, and headed to the operating room in less than seven minutes. She went into cardiac arrest a total of seven times. Smith added, the situation was bleak, but with the rapid care and decision-making of Eaton Fire and EMS, MedFlight and Kettering’s trauma team led by Dr. Miguel Gaeta, Diana Dillow survived. She has since visited MedFlight 8 during its open house, to meet the crew and Dr. Gaeta.
Having medical aircraft within the community, along with well-prepared EMS providers who understand how critical time is in these situations, helped Diana Dillow receive life-saving care, according to officials.
“There were 14 EMS Stars given out this year. Having our story chosen as one of 14 was very exciting and yet, humbling at the same time. It shows me that we have a good system of care here,” Smith said.
“We have personnel that in my opinion are the best at what they do, day in and out. They are passionate, and care greatly about our community. With the addition Kettering’s ER and Medflight it makes the system that much better.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH