National Emergency Medical Services Week

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Emergency Medical Services Week

The Utah Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services honored the men and women who represent Utah's many heroes.

The annual EMS Awards Ceremony commemorated 2007 National EMS Week, May 21-26.

Whether it's a highly-trained emergency services professional or the classmate you see in school every day, you never know where a hero might be found.

That's fortunate for the dozens of people whose lives were saved at Trolley Square earlier this year, and for Freemont High School student Caitlin Cluff. Cluff met her heroes last November when she collapsed without warning at school. Sarah Bunn and Chantelle Cordon, classmates at the Plain City, Utah school, had the courage to take action to save her life. When Caitlin passed out, she didn't know it was because of an undetected heart condition. Sarah and Chantelle began CPR while their teacher called 911 and waited for emergency medical responders to arrive.

Many more heroes emerged during the Trolley Square siege in February, including emergency medical teams who were the first responders - brave men and women who used their skills to treat the injured in those moments after the gunman was taken down.

Although they were honored for their role in the Trolley Square tragedy, EMS responders are reluctant to be called heroes, saying they did what they were trained to do.

"This year's theme, Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Service, truly describes the EMS professionals who exemplify extraordinary people by their dedication and provide extraordinary service with their skills and remarkable commitment to their communities," said EMS Bureau Director Paul Patrick. "And we pay tribute to some outstanding private citizens who showed remarkable strength in times of need."

"We are proud to recognize all our citizens, private and professional, who showed great courage in saving lives," added Dr. David N. Sundwall, Executive Director, UDOH.

The EMS Week Awards are presented by the UDOH EMS Bureau in cooperation with the Sandy City Fire Department. Following is a list of all 2007 award winners:

Outstanding Citizens Award - High School Teens Save the Life of Caitlin Cluff

Caitlin Cluff did not know that she would meet her heroes on November 11, 2006, but when she suddenly collapsed on the floor. Sarah Bunn and Chantelle Cordon, her two classmates at the Freemont High School in Plain City, Utah, had the courage to take action to save her life. When


Caitlin started feeling faint in class, she did not know that it was triggered from a life-threatening acute heart condition that had gone undetected. Startled when Caitlin collapsed, Sarah and Chantelle they immediately sprang into action and began CPR while 9-1-1 was being called for emergency medical responders.

Plain City and Ogden Fire Departments arrived at the scene, continuing resuscitation and stabilization efforts. Caitlin was rushed to Mckay-Dee hospital and a few days later, walked out of the hospital.

Award Recipients:

Sarah Bunn, Chantelle Cordon

On Thursday, April 27, 2007, Jaxon Miera fell into Farmington Creek by the Lagoon Campground. Jaxon's mother was anxiously searching for her missing two-year-old son when the realization and fear that Jaxon had fallen into the cold water immediately started the frantic search. Farmington Police Chief Wayne Hansen, Sgt. Parish Snyder, and Det. Bryant Ives responded. Jared Miner and his mother, Joy, saw Jaxon in the water. Jared jumped in after him and Joy helped pull the lifeless child from the creek. Within minutes, Sgt. Snyder and Det. Ives began CPR until Farmington Fire EMS and Davis Co. Sheriff's paramedics arrived. An Air Med helicopter flew Jaxon to Primary Children's Medical Center.

Jaxon's parents, Brook and Joseph Miera, are happy to report that their son is doing well thanks to the efforts of everyone involved. With special thanks to Jared and Joy Miner and Sgt. Snyder and Det. Ives, who helped saved Jaxon's life.

Award Recipients:

Jared and Joy Miner

On February 12, 2007, at approximately 6:45 PM, Salt Lake City 911 began receiving numerous calls from people within the Trolley Square Mall indicating shots had been fired. It was quickly evident that a armed man was making his way through the mall, firing at people at random. Many heroes emerged during the Trolley Square siege, including emergency medical teams who were the first responders, brave men and women who used their skills to treat the injured in those moments after the gunman was taken down.

Emergency medical arrived at the scene and initial staging was set up with treatment and triage groups. These actions were invaluable in preventing duplication of efforts and in providing definitive care to viable patients. A 53-year-old male with gunshot wounds was treated and transported to the University Medical Center, after he was located in the Cabin Fever store. Another 44-year-old male with gunshot wounds was treated and transported to LDS Hospital. Outside the mall in the parking lot, a 16-year-old-male was found sitting in his vehicle with a wound to the side of his head. He too was treated at the scene and transported. A female who was 32 weeks pregnant was treated and transported for psychological trauma. Inside the mall, 6 people were dead, including the gunman.

Initial crews faced the very real possibility of a second shooter. Knowing this, the crews acted without hesitation. At least two of the patients would have died if not for the quick actions of the EMS responders. The 911 dispatchers handled dozens of calls under extreme pressure and stress as they directed incoming police and fire units and callers to safety. The combined professionalism of all agencies resulted in saving lives and preventing more victims. This incident is the largest multiple victim event that has occurred in Salt Lake City in many years.

It is hard to describe the thoughts and emotions that take place during an incident like this one. All of those who watched it unfold on TV were impacted, although those who actually lived the experience will always be changed. Many awards have been given to the valiant police officers from Salt Lake City and Ogden City, and the Utah Department of Health honors their heroic efforts to mitigate the event with minimal loss of life.

Salt Lake City Fire, Salt Lake City Dispatch, Southwest Ambulance, Gold Cross Ambulance