Local emergency personnel were recognized by their peers at the 8th annual EMS Star of Life Awards Dinner and Ceremony on May 5.
Misty Green, AEMT, and David Hamlet, EMT-P, both of DeKalb EMS; DeKalb 911 dispatchers Chase Ferrell and Tony Thomas, along with Ray Cadwallader, EMT-P, Laura Kirk, RN, Heather Marsh, RN, Karen Mulvaney, RN; and Chuck Nabors, Pilot, of Erlanger Life Force, received the Dr. Michael Carr Tennessee EMSC Star of Life Award for their work while saving the life of an eight-year-old boy who was critically injured in a boating accident on Center Hill Lake last June.
The EMS Star of Life, presented by the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC), recognizes EMS personnel who provide exemplary life-saving care to patients. The Awards Committee reviews nominations and selects winners from each of Tennessee’s eight EMS Regions and a state winner based on the EMS provider’s service to their community and commitment to their patients.
Tennessee EMSC Board member Dr. Michael Carr, for whom the award is named, and EMS Director of the Tennessee Department of Health Donna Tidwell presented the award.
The story began when eight-year-old Aiden Brown, who was enjoying a trip on his family’s new pontoon boat, when the boy fell from the bow of the boat into the water. The young man reportedly resurfaced about 10 feet behind the boat bleeding badly from cuts to his face, head and neck, suffered when he came into contact with the boat’s propeller.
Brown reportedly had an eight-inch laceration across his chest that exposed his heart and lungs as well.
After calling 911 on a ceel phone, the boat was rushed to a nearby marina, where they were met by DeKalb EMS. A Life Force landed near the marina, and when Brown was stabilized he was loaded into the flying ambulance and flown to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga.
The young man received warmed blood and plasma during the 25-minute flight, and his vital signs and color began to improve. Once arriving at his destination, he was taken into the children’s trauma unit and was immediately evaluated by Pediatric Trauma Surgeon Dr. Pete Kelley and the pediatric trauma team.
He was rushed to surgery, where his open chest wound,s including the heart, lungs, spleen, liver, and sternum were repaired. He then received a CT scan to for evaluate his head, neck, and facial injuries, and was returned to surgery. He was then admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit.
Brown was discharged after eight days, and was named one of Children’s Hospital’s Miracle Children.
DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale said he was pleased with the way our emergency personnel handle such situations.
"I am very proud of my crews who tended to and assisted in saving the life of Aiden. DeKalb County should also be proud to have such trained and dedicated personnel in our community working for us," Hale said.