Sweetwater EMTs receive letter of commendation

June 7, 2013

Shown are Lance Campbell, Todd Donham, Kirk Maberry and Jarett Knowles. The team of emergency medical technicians were thanked by Maberry for saving his life. (Photo by Melissa Winslow)

Recently, a local firefighter paramedic received a letter of commendation after he and his team responded to an emergency situation.
The letter to Lance Campbell, given to him by Sweetwater Fire Chief/Emergency Services Director Grant Madden, recollected on an incident that occurred on Sunday, April 28. A call for assistance was received from Highway 70, just north of town.
Responders were met with a patient who was on the floor, unable to breathe and turning blue. The patient, Kirk Maberry, stated in a letter that he was getting ready to go to church with his wife and young daughter when he encountered sudden cardiac death syndrome.
"I came in and told [my wife Michelle] I wasn't feeling well," Maberry recalled. "She checked my pulse, listened to my heart beat and knew something was wrong. It wasn't long before I began seizing, and ultimately my heart stopped."
Michelle was administering CPR when the paramedic team arrived--about four minutes after she called 911, in which they took over "to ensure the best outcome for the patient," according to Madden. Campbell and his team offered the necessary medical attention to Maberry and worked tirelessly to reverse the problems from which he was suffering.
"According to statistics, the patient had roughly a 4% chance of survival when the call came in," explained Madden. "Your quick actions, hard work, determination, and never quit attitude made all the difference that day."
In a statement from Maberry's family and friends, they cited the "grace and professionalism" demonstrated by the paramedic team as they were "giving feedback when needed, handling upset family members as needed, and most importantly, providing the appropriate care to Kirk in order to get him revived."
"Our community is extremely fortunate and blessed to have a staffed team of paramedics/firefighters, much less ones who are competent, knowledgeable, serving, compassionate, and professional," the statement said.
Maberry also stated, "I know the Lord had Lance Campbell, Jarett Knowles, Todd Donham, and Derrick Ratcliff on duty that day for a reason. I am so thankful that they performed at the highest level and with the confidence and patience to handle what they encountered that morning."
In the letter of commendation, Madden praised the "dedication and very hard work" of the four men. Their actions led to Maberry's survival--a patient who is alive, well and has "a quality of life that is right where it was before [he] had his problems that day."
Madden added that the city and county are "proud to have such dedicated and talented responders...in times of trouble for our citizens and people who find themselves in harm's way."
The family statement also echoed that sentiment, as does Maberry himself.
"They are heroes to my family and me," he remarked, "a big part of the reason I will watch my daughter grow up and hold my unborn son. Our community is so fortunate to have the Sweetwater Fire Department and Ambulance Service."

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