KENNETT SQUARE -- At least 31 people are lucky to be alive thanks to the efforts over the past year of Chester County emergency responders.
Those 31 people, because of heart attacks or other trauma, were close to death with no pulse or breathing. Fortunately for them, police, life support practitioners, sheriff’s deputies and alert civilians sprang into action, gave them CPR and rushed them to hospitals. Following their treatment the victims recovered and were discharged.
Ninety-one of those life savers were honored Thursday at the 10th annual EMS Awards Ceremony at the Kennett Fire Company Red Clay Room. They were called group-by-group to the dais to be presented with plaques and a handshake of congratulations from Keith Johnson, president of Chester County Emergency Medical Services Council Inc.
The stories of the rescues were quite similar: The responders arrived -- or responders just happened to be in the area -- to find that someone had collapsed. Finding the victim without pulse and breath, the rescuer immediately began CPR and -- if it had not been done, -- called for help.
In one case, the first people on the scene were not affiliated with any emergency services organization. Vlatko Hajdek and Mark Ray were given the Citizens Award for applying CPR to a person whom they saw drop motionless at a tennis match. They were credited with participating and assisting in an exemplary manner.
In another case, the first responders revived a member of their own team who had collapsed at a call.
In still another, Coatesville police came upon a man who had a heart attack at the Holy Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. Police officers Claire Lang, Sylvester Earle and Dave Marquete applied CPR until medics came and took him to the hospital, where he walked out on after treatment.
Eight responders were given the Pre-Hospital Delivery Commendation. In other words, they delivered babies whose mothers did not make it to the hospital on time. Four Chester County children can grow up saying that they came into the world outside the hospital, but into skilled hands.
Several individuals or groups received recognition as 2014 Award Recipients. In addition to the baby delivery and citizen awards, the basic life support Practitioner of the Year was Earl Taylor of Washington Hose.
The advanced life support Practitioner of the Year was Saveria Sardone of Malvern, who made significant contributions in the area of infection control.
The Distinguished Provider winner was April Locke of Good Fellowship and Medic 91, who it was announced was an excellent EMT and trainer. She was also given credit for managing stand-bys.
The Telecommunicator of the Year was Bradley Berry, who has helped talk two patients through at-home deliveries over the phone.
The EMS Educator of the Year was Tammy Johnson of Good Fellowship, who was credited with making significant contributions in advancement of instructional techniques.
The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Southern Chester County EMS -- Medic 91 -- that operates out of Jennersville Regional Hospital but is not affiliated with it. It was founded in 1983 and in 2001 became an independent organization.
Medic 94 is credited with displaying outstanding performance, teamwork and support of other emergency services.
Johnson described the crew, led by CEO Bob Hotchkiss, as dynamic and responsive to community needs.
The Margaret Hoover Brigham Award was presented to De. Edward Dickinson in recognition of his efforts in developing leadership and promoting the advancement of the Chester County EMS system.
Scott Thornton of the Coatesville EMS received the newly established Nicholas H.S. Campbell Meritorious Service Award-EMS Leadership Award that was named for the late Nicholas Campbell.
The EMS Council also honored and thanked Chester County Commissioners Terence Farrell, Ryan Costello and Kathi Cozzone for contributing to improved dispatching and paging as well as completing the new training center.