VANDALIA — The City of Vandalia’s Division of Fire recognized city employees and a Vandalia Recreation Center patron for quick thinking and their life-saving actions in two separate incidents.
Employee John Ross and Sim Johnson were presented with Life Saving Awards by Fire Chief Chad Follick for their actions on April 8.
While playing basketball, Kerry Baker collapsed in full cardiac arrest. After calling 911, Ross and Johnson initiated CPR and gave Baker two separate shocks with an AED. By the time paramedics arrived, he continued to improve while being taken to a hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.
“If not for John and Sim’s actions, the patient would not have survived,” said Follick. “The immediate application of effective CPR and the AED undoubtedly saved this man’s life.”
Baker was on hand to thank Ross, Johnson, and the paramedics who tended to him.
“I’d like to personally thank these gentlemen,” said Baker. “Doctors, nurses, pastors, and my friends tell me its a miracle I am living. They tell me less than five percent of those that experience full cardiac arrest outside a hospital survive. I not only survived, but I am thriving because of the efforts of these individuals.”
In an unrelated event, Custodial Supervisor Mark Collins was awarded the Fire Division’s Medal of Valor for his life-saving actions the evening of May 8.
While driving home from work, Collins noticed smoke coming from an apartment building on Stewville Drive near Fordway. After calling 911, Collins searched three of four apartments involved and found two occupants – neither of which was aware of the fire.
The Fire Division’s Medal of Honor is “awarded for outstanding service, such as a deliberate, thoughtful action involving extraordinary heroism and extreme risk to life of the risk of life of the recipient in an effort to saving the life of another person.”
When firefighters arrived, the roof began to collapse which briefly left one firefighter in a precarious situation prompting a “mayday” call.
“Because Mark had searched the apartments and notified the occupants, we were immediately able to go into a different mode to fight the fire. Without his actions this fire could have had a tragic ending.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.