May 23—Of the nine fire departments that received Ohio EMS Star of Life Awards Wednesday during a ceremony in Columbus, the Middletown Division of Fire was among the recipients for lifesaving efforts performed in 2018.
The Ohio EMS Star of Life Awards were created by the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Ohio Division of Emergency Medical Services created an award 19 years ago to recognize outstanding achievements and to honor those in Ohio's EMS system whose accomplishments rise above the day-to-day excellence of that system.
Middletown Fire Lt. Brian Wright recommended fire/EMS crew members that responded May 12, 2018 to the Middletown Regional Airport for a skydiving accident. That crew included Middletown firefighters Jim Malin, Jacob Smith, Jason Venters, Chris Butler and Josh Meyers. Since the incident, Venters, Butler and Meyers have moved on to fire departments in Liberty Twp., Kettering and Hamilton Twp. respectively.
In his nomination, Wright said crews have responded to the airport multiple times for "hard landings," usually resulting in sprains and/or fractures.
However, Wright said on that day, crew members were presented with something much more significant: A skydiver who had impacted the ground at an estimated 100 mph.
"Due to the crews' diligent training and readiness they were able to recognize, through patient assessment, the severe level of trauma the patient had suffered," Wright wrote.
Wright said the crew made rapid and secondary assessments and were able to quickly identify not only the obvious trauma to the patient's lower legs but also potential underlying internal trauma. They were also quick to recognize that the patient needed to be treated at a Level 1 Trauma facility and transported via medical helicopter. If not for this recognition, Wright said the outcome would have been potentially grave for the patient.
In his nomination, Wright also attached comments from the patient.
"It is my hope that your crew is nominated—and wins—this prestigious award," the patient said. "I am doing very well and getting stronger every day; the quick thinking and stellar teamwork of your crew enabled a huge part of my success and it's not hyperbole for me to state that they saved my life when it counted the most. My gratitude runs deep. Please thank each one for me if you don't mind. May your crew continue to be safe and strong. We're all so very lucky that you're there and you do what you do."
Also recognized with Ohio EMS Star of Life Awards on Wednesday were the Fairfield and Oxford fire departments.