It was 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, when Mr. Curtis Williams, a 63-year-old, longtime resident of Paris who had a significant medical history and is wheelchair-bound, had a life-changing event – one he will never forget.
Mr. Williams was found unresponsive and not breathing by his family at their home, so 9-1-1 was called. Emergency Services including Paris Fire Department, Paris Police Department and Paris EMS Medic 1 (staffed by Paramedic Melissa Walker and EMT Ryan Lipstraw) responded to his residence. CPR was started immediately followed by Advanced Cardiac Life Support including medications and defibrillation.
Mr. Williams was resuscitated and his heartbeat and blood pressure restored. Five days later, Mr. Williams rolled himself out of Paris Regional Medical Center with only a sore chest.
“This is the way our ‘Medical System’ is supposed to work,” EMS Chief Russell Thrasher said. “From initial recognition and CPR by bystanders, to 911, EMS/Fire/PD and the Emergency Department – everyone plays a vital role in saving lives”.
Melissa and Ryan are the first recipients of a new EMS commendation awarded only to those who successfully resuscitate a cardiac arrest patient who survives and is able to leave the hospital intact.
“This three-inch silver coin, Cardiac Arrest SAVE, is a treasured reminder that what we do is important. Many times, cardiac arrests in the field do not have this great of an outcome where the patient survives with no ill effects. Mr. Williams is an exception, and a remarkable person,” Thrasher said.
Mr. Williams was also given an EMS Challenge Coin with an American Flag Eagle and EMS Star of Life to represent that we are always there looking out for his and our communities’ safety.