A Century Ambulance crew was recently honored by the Lake City Chapter of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution for their efforts to help a young fall victim. RPM Chad Cowart was presented with a Heroism Medal while his partner, EMT Tiki Bond, received an EMS Commendation Medal at the 2017 Community Service Awards Ceremony held at St. James Episcopal Church.
Over the summer, the Century crew responded to a patient who had fallen from a zip line and suffered a serious injury to their left femur. Chad and Tiki not only provided medical aid alongside fellow emergency responders, but managed to mitigate the young patient’s pain by recognizing the patient’s relative level of comfort when their injured leg was in the water into which they had fallen. With the injured youngster on a backboard, Chad, Tiki and their fellow EMS professionals safely kept the patient’s injured leg submerged in the water even as they applied a traction splint to provide stability and further reduce the pain.
Chad and Tiki received their awards thanks in part to their unique efforts, but also due to a written account of the event submitted by Chad for Community Service Award consideration. Chad’s original, unaltered submission tells the full story:
On the 28th day of July, 2017 the crew on Century 7 (Chad Cowart and Tiki Bond) Responded to a call that you do not see everyday. After clearing a call and catching another call it seemed to be just another call. Little did the crew know this call would be slightly different than most. Initial dispatch information informed the crew we were responding to a fall patient. I myself have responded to many of fall patients and still I had no idea at this time what was about to happen on this call. Updated information informed the crew that the patient was a child who had fallen from a zip line over twenty feet in the air. Upon arrival on scene there were some people at the patients side trying to help her. The fire department informed the crew the patient has obvious deformity to the left femur. Due to the height of the fall with a fracture of a long bone a trauma alert was issued. The crew on Century 7 quickly responded to the information and carried a traction splint to the patients side. The pt was still located in the water. Without hesitation the crew members entered the water and held the patient above the water on a back board. With the crew holding stabilization of the patients leg and confirming the patient has positive pulse motor and sensory distal to the injury. With the patients leg under the water the pain was minimal. As the crew attempted to move the patient to land the patient presented to be in a significant amount of pain. This was when the crew and the fire department made the decision to hold the patient in the water to minimize the pain for the patient. I feel as if my job is to treat the patient and do what makes the patient feel the most comfortable. Doing this you may be put into some unforeseen situations. The crew worked together to quickly treat the patient to the best of our ability. The traction splint was applied to the patient. However this was done under water to maximize patient comfort level. This may seem easy to some however due to not being able to see well under the water this was done by feel and memory of the traction splint. As soon as traction was applied the patient showed instant relief. The crew then removed the patient from the water with nine crew members total with some holding stabilization of the left leg and traction splint while others carried the back board. Patient was quickly strapped to the back board, loaded into the unit and transported to the parking lot where trauma one was on the ground awaiting out arrival. Transfer of care was given to the flight crew and patient was flown to UF Health trauma center for further care. Working in 911 you never know how one call will differ from another or what situation you will be put in. I can say I would have never expected to have applied a traction splint under the water. This being said you can not over train or prepare. I have noting bad to say about the crew as a whole. The entire crew entered the water and worked quickly together to achieve the best possible outcome for the patient.
Century offers hearty congratulations to both Chad and Tiki. Century and the entire EMS community are grateful for your hard work and dedication!