Firefighter of the Year

Michael C. Walsh

2009

ffy_2009_michael_walsh Only nine days later, on August 21st at about 12:30pm, Elsmere Firefighter Michael C. Walsh was leaving his neighborhood when he heard the call come out for "a man down, unknown" in his vicinity. The dispatcher said "the patient was believed to be not breathing."

Firefighter Walsh parked his car and ran into the house. The 58 year old victim was inside. His wife was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. Mike did an initial assessment of the patient who was unresponsive with no pulse and no respirations and told the 911 dispatcher what he had just obtained by a quick assessment. The patient was lying in a pool of his own blood because when he had collapsed he sustained a laceration to the head. Mike told the dispatcher he was about to initiate CPR and hung up the phone. He gave the patient two rescue breaths and began compressions. He continued chest compressions even after EMS arrived while they started an IV line and hooked up an AED. After about 11-12 minutes of CPR and 3 shocks on the AED, rescue crews received a cardiac rhythm and packed the patient up and transported him to St. Peter’s Hospital. The patient’s wife called Mike and thanked him for saving her husband’s life. The doctors indicated that without question, Mike’s early response made a difference between life and death, as he saved the patient about seven minutes of downtime while he provided oxygen to his brain. The patient was in a medically induced coma for 2-3 days and came home from the hospital after 8 days. He is alive and well today. Firefighter Walsh joined the Elsmere Fire Company in August, 1999.

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