It was 5:30 pm on Monday, February 14, 2022, when Mr. Curtis Williams, a 63-year-old longtime resident of Paris who had a significant medical history and used a wheelchair, had a life-changing event, one he will never forget. He was found unresponsive and not breathing by his family at their home, so 911 was called. Emergency Services responded to his residence, including Paris Fire Department, Paris Police Department, and Paris EMS Medic 1 (staffed by Paramedic Melissa Walker and EMT Ryan Lipstraw). They started CPR immediately, followed by Advanced Cardiac Life Support, including medications and defibrillation. They resuscitated Mr. Williams and restored his heartbeat and blood pressure. Mr. Williams rolled himself out of Paris Regional Medical Center five days later with only a sore chest.
EMS Chief Russell Thrasher said, “This is the way our “Medical System” is supposed to work. From initial recognition and CPR by bystanders to 911, EMS/Fire/PD, and the Emergency Department – everyone plays a vital role in saving lives”.
Melissa and Ryan are the first recipients of a new EMS commendation awarded only to those who successfully resuscitate a cardiac arrest patient who survives and can leave the hospital intact. “This 3” silver coin, Cardiac Arrest SAVE, is a treasured reminder that what we do is essential. So many times, cardiac arrests in the field do not have this great outcome where the patient survives with no ill effects. Mr. Williams is an exception and a remarkable person.” Thrasher said. Mr. Williams was also given an EMS Challenge Coin with an American Flag Eagle and EMS Star of Life to represent that we are always there looking out for his and our communities’ safety.