Emergency workers honored for saving man in cardiac arrest

Every seat was filled Thursday in Oil City Council chambers as friends and family of six EMTs and paramedics from the Oil City Fire Department and Community Ambulance Service were honored for their quick response to a cardiac arrest in the city.

The patient made a full recovery.

The room erupted in applause during the city council meeting as Ben Hart, the EMS specialist at UPMC who coordinates with fire departments and Community Ambulance on medical calls, gave the first responders a certificate of recognition for their service.

The six emergency workers recognized included four Oil City Fire Department firefighters – Sam McSparren, John Rodgers, William Lamberton and John Horn – and Community Ambulance paramedic Dayle Rodgers and EMT Mark Pattee.

“We don’t appreciate our health care workers enough. It is just a day for them but looking in from the outside what they do is very impressive,” Hart said.

The time between making contact with the man and his trip by helicopter to UPMC Hamot in Erie was only 32 minutes, said Hart.

The call came in as a 40-year-old male who fell and had an unknown problem, Hart told the crowd at the council meeting.

Upon the arrival of Oil City Fire Department personnel, firefighter and paramedic McSparren quickly determined the man was in cardiac arrest and jumped into action, Hart said.

During those minutes, the firefighters and Community Ambulance crew took a number of lifesaving measures, Hart said. They brought the man back and he was even breathing a little, according to Hart.

The man had a stent put in at Hamot and a balloon pump that was removed two days later, Hart said.

The man returned home after four days in the hospital and has made a full recovery, according to Hart.

Tim Fletcher, the director of operations for Community Ambulance, commended the first responders.

“Good job you guys…you did the right thing,” Fletcher said.