Written by Michael Hannigan
Eleven individuals were honored at Monday night's Athens City Council meeting for actions that saved a man's life.
UT Health East Texas EMS Operations Regional Director Todd Loper told council members all 11 were vital in saving Charles Crutchfield, who went into cardiac arrest Friday, June 21, while in First State Bank in Athens.
Loper said six people from the bank were involved in helping Crutchfield in one way or another, including CPR and calling 911. That call first went to Athens PD, which called out the fire department and transferred the call to UT Health EMS Operations. The operator at UT Health gave instructions to bank personnel what to do for the patient.
Athens Fire Department personnel arrived within three minutes of the call and shocked the patient with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and were able to insert an airway to help the patient breathe.
UT Health EM arrived with an ambulance within six minutes of the call and again shocked the patient with the AED and started an IV to provide heart medication.
"Remember, at this point you have six bank personnel, whether they are on the phone, whether they are at the airway, whether they are doing CPR, you've got six bank personnel," said Loper. "And two from Athens Fire and two from us. They are all working with one goal to accomplish."
When the patient showed signs of life he was taken to UT Health East Texas in Athens and then flown by Air 1 to Tyler, where he had bypass surgery.
Because of all the lifesaving efforts, Mr. Crutchfield was in the audience Monday evening.
"This does not happen very often, at all," said Loper.
UT Health East Texas honored 11 individuals for lifesaving efforts at Monday night's City Council meeting. Ten of those 11 are pictured here with the City Council and the man they saved. Photo credit: Michael Hannigan
Those who were honored Monday included:
First State Bank: Ruth Beltran, Amber Arnold, Victoria Bagley, Stacey Alen, Julie Bell, and Armando Rincon.
Athens Fire Department: Mark Oliver and Ricky Harris.
UT Health: EMS Bryan Moffit an Ryan Hill, and call center operator JaMichael Scott.