QAC Emergency Staff Earn State Awards

Five QAC emergency workers were recognized recently in a statewide award ceremony; four for saving the life of a 13-year-old student; and one for talking a dad through childbirth steps to successfully deliver a healthy baby.

Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems recognized the Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services employees at the Maryland EMS Awards May 22, in Annapolis. “The five providers recognized by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems truly illustrates the skill and expertise of our staff. I cannot be prouder of our providers or the system we serve,” said EMS Chief Scott Haas.

Dispatcher Guides Successful Delivery of Baby Via 911 Phone Line
Public Safety Dispatcher Derrick Leonard received the EMD Provider of the Year Award for guiding a father though the successful delivery of a baby at home. A Centreville couple was surprised by the quick onset of labor and the imminent delivery.

Jason Stubbs, of Queen Anne’s County Emergency Services explained what happened on November 06, 2011, “Dispatcher Leonard took control of the dispatch console as he would any other day. At 6:12 a.m. he received a call from an excited man explaining that his wife was pregnant, having contractions and her water had broken.”
Leonard calmly reassured the caller, gathered information to get paramedics on the road, and stayed on the line with the distraught man. The caller was getting very anxious and it was determined that birth was imminent when the baby’s head was visible. Dispatcher Leonard explained that he could help talk the man through the childbirth, but the caller was very hesitant about proceeding with the delivery instructions. Dispatcher Leonard reassured the caller that help was on the way and encouraged the caller that he could help deliver the baby. This empowered the caller to assist with delivery and everything went smoothly. Paramedics arrived shortly after the successful delivery and both mother and baby were doing well.

If it weren’t for Dispatcher Leonard’s calm demeanor and consistent reassuring of the caller, things could very well have not gone as smoothly. He did an excellent job at calming the caller and making sure the baby was taken care of until paramedics arrived.

13-Year-Old Brought Back
On April 5th, 2011 13-year-old Brett Rochester went to Sudlersville Middle school like any other day, said Stubbs. “He could never imagine that after arriving at school, and going to gym, that his life would change forever and he would technically die only to be brought back to life and given another chance thanks to the rapid response of teachers, the school nurse, and his very own gym teacher. All the stars aligned and due to the quick actions and excellent crew resource management of the Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services, Brett is alive and well.”

While starting his daily rounds Paramedic Lieutenant Rob Morris had left his station and traveled the 15 minutes north to the small town of Sudlersville. By pure luck, while at station 6 where Queen Anne’s County Paramedic 600 is housed, he heard the call alerting for a cardiac arrest of a child next door at Sudlersville Middle School. Lt. Morris along with the crew of Paramedics Patty Dilworth and Jeff Kelly, and EMT Alex Marvel, were less than 30 seconds away. The Crew entered the school with lifesaving equipment and found 13-year- old Brett Rochester had regained a pulse after a teacher used an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).

Although Brett now had regained a pulse he had lost the ability to control his own airway because his jaws were clenched closed.

The other lifesaving technique that saved Brett’s life is the advanced airway management technique called Rapid Sequence Induction (RSI). RSI requires sedation and paralysis prior to an intubation procedure. Queen Anne’s is one of the few jurisdictions in Maryland that utilizes the RSI protocol and is the only jurisdiction on the Midshore that utilizes the technique because it is such a highly technical skill that only the most advanced paramedics with the highest level of clinical skill can do the RSI procedure.

While EMS was stabilizing the boy, a crew from Sudlersville Volunteer Fire Department worked nearby to create a landing zone for the State Police helicopter. The plan was to fly Brett directly to Johns Hopkins Hospital, but deteriorating weather conditions forced the helicopter to divert to Martins State Airport. A Baltimore County Paramedic crew met them there and took the boy and his lifesaving team the final leg to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Paramedic Rob Morris stayed with the boy from the school gym to the hospital, continuing to provide advanced life support and airway management, essentially breathing for the boy the entire time.

“Brett has received surgery and due to a conduction problem in his heart, he did indeed experience sudden death cardiac arrest,” said Stubbs. “The outcome may have been much different if it was not for the quick response from his teachers and the exceptional, aggressive, and assertive care provided by all involved including the crews of Queen Anne’s County Department Emergency Services, Sudlersville Volunteer Fire Department, Maryland State Police Aviation Division, Baltimore County Fire Department, and medical team at Johns Hopkins.”

Lt. Rob Morris, Paramedic Jeffrey Kelly, Paramedic Patricia Dilworth and EMT-B Alex Marvel were awarded the MIEMSS Director’s Award for Excellence in EMS, which is the most prestigious award given.
Kevin Aftung, director of QAC EMS said he is happy to see the staff honored with these impressive awards, “I can’t tell you how proud I am of my staff for their performance every day.”