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EMS Crew is Recognized for Helping to Save a Life

Posted on Jun 15, 2016

Star of Life Award Recognizes Quick Action that Saved a Life

Six Washington Township EMS crew members have received the EMS Star of Life Award from the Ohio Department of Public Safety for their quick reaction and skill in saving the life of a Washington Township man.

But the crew was only part of a team effort that included the best allies possible – the man’s son and wife, says Deputy Chief Scott Kujawa of the Washington Township Fire Department who submitted the nomination.

About a year ago, Damon Givens was mowing grass on Father’s Day when his three-year-old son peeked out the window, saw his father collapse, and told his mother that his father was sick. His son’s quick reaction started a chain of events that saved the life of a man whose heart had stopped.

Whitney Givens rushed to her husband’s side, called 911, and started CPR with the help of the dispatcher on duty. When the fire department EMS crew arrived a few minutes later, its members took over resuscitative efforts with continuous CPR, three rounds of electric shock applied with a defibrillator, oxygen, and a bag valve mask that was used to manually assist with his breathing.

His heart fluctuated for a time between no beats, slow beats and arrhythmia, but by the time Givens arrived at Southview Hospital, his heart had resumed beating on its own.

For their excellent pre-hospital care, the EMS crew and dispatcher received the EMS Stars award at the annual EMS Star of Life Awards Ceremony on May 18 in Columbus. Recipients are Captain Joel Holbrook, Lieutenant Joshua Augustine, Firefighter/ Paramedic Todd Flohre, Firefighter/Paramedic Eli Hemphill, Firefighter/EMT Doug Stafford, EMT Bruce Manfredi and Dispatcher Julie Hale.

The awards are a tribute to the individuals and organizations whose overall contributions represent the finest traditions of the profession.

“Our crew members performed aggressively as they’ve been trained to do, all while providing the highest standard of care,” said Kujawa.

The incident also lends itself to the importance of early recognition and action, he added: “While our crews, including Dispatcher Hale, provided excellent care, Mrs. Givens and their son are the true heroes of this incident for the early recognition and actions taken to save their husband and father.”


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