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WellSpan paramedic receives American Red Cross Hero Award

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

From left Charles Stevens, Richard Hall and Christopher Krichten
WellSpan paramedic Richard Hall, center, accepts the American Red Cross Good Neighbor Hero Award from Charles Stevens, EMS deputy chief, left, and Christopher Krichten, EMS chief, right.

Rick Hall has been a paramedic for many years, so he knows that in most cases when a cardiac arrest occurs outside a hospital setting, the outcome is usually grim.

But, thanks to Hall, a part-time WellSpan paramedic, and Lance Crouse from the Biglerville Fire Company, an Adams County man beat the odds.

Hall and Crouse revived the man, who was in cardiac arrest.  He was transported to WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital and later transferred to WellSpan York Hospital for more extensive cardiac services.  The patient was discharged home after a couple days.

“It was a remarkable outcome,” said Hall.  “It was a miracle that he was revived and was able to go home just a few days later.  That seldom happens.  Fortunately, a lot of things worked together to produce the positive outcome.”

For their life-saving efforts, Hall and Crouse were named Good Neighbor Heroes by the American Red Cross.

“Receiving the recognition was a good feeling,” said Hall.  “It reinforces the good work we do.  I’m very proud of the WellSpan EMS team.”

Hall’s quick arrival on the scene may have meant the difference between life and death.  He was responding to another call when the 9-1-1 dispatcher rerouted him to the scene of the cardiac arrest.

When Hall arrived, Susan Cook, a bystander, was administering CPR to the man, who appeared to be in his 40s.

Knowing something had to be seriously wrong, Hall grabbed his Life Pak 12 monitor/defibrillator from his response vehicle and headed toward the scene.

He hooked up the defibrillator to assess the man’s cardiac rhythm, asked everyone to clear the patient and administered a shock.

They continued CPR for two more minutes, hoping that between the shock and CPR the man’s heart would start.  By this time, Crouse arrived from Biglerville Fire Company and began assisting where he could.

Hall checked for a pulse on the cardiac monitor and it finally showed a heart rhythm.  The man had been revived. Together, the team stabilized the patient and prepared him for transport to WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital.  By the time the ambulance reached the hospital, the patient was awake, notably confused and unsure of what happened.

“En route to the hospital, the patient gained consciousness and began talking to me,” said Hall.  

“He has emailed me several times since being discharged from WellSpan York Hospital. I’m glad that there was such a happy ending for him.”

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