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Saving a Student's Life in Rockville

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Category: Features

Published: May 14 2012 11:09AM

<b>Montgomery College Security Officers Yasmel Rodriguez and Jeff Wilson recently received Heartsaver Hero Awards from the American Heart Association. This award is given to individuals who perform a courageous, heartsaving act in an effort to save a life. Written by Safety and Security Manager Debra Hayre, the story below explains exactly what happened on that March day.</b>

<i>"Every day, Montgomery College security officers respond to medical calls. Whether it is a cut thumb or chest pains, they are on the scene trying to provide the best possible care until an ambulance arrives. Security officers are trained in basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The officers arrive on the scene and do an assessment, clear the area, and calm people down. If it is a serious incident, they ask for assistance from a faculty counselor.

Once in awhile, there is a serious medical call on campus. In March, two Rockville Campus security officers were dispatched to a classroom where a student was unconscious. Security Officers Yasmel Rodriguez and Jeff Wilson brought the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), assessed the scene, and cleared the room. A call had already been placed to 911. The patient had labored breathing, and then breathing completely stopped. Officers Rodriguez and Wilson immediately did what they had been trained to do - CPR!

Security Officers Daniel Crespo and Amadu Amara arrived as backup. As Officer Crespo was setting up the AED, paramedics arrived on the scene. Paramedics confirmed there was no pulse in the patient, worked diligently and got the patient back en route to the hospital.

While Officers Rodriguez and Wilson were the ones who administered CPR, security officers work as teams. Erin Hudgins, the security base operator during the incident, relayed up-to-date information to the 911 operators, as other officers, such as David Fellers and Jeff Gobble, positioned themselves at opposite ends of the campus to direct the ambulance. The shift supervisor that day, Amadu Amara, had recently certified Yasmel Rodriguez in CPR.

After the paramedics left the scene, Security Officer Hudgins called in a counselor, Professor Steve Leitz, to talk with the class because it was a traumatic event for the classmates and the professor as well as for the security officers. Our counselors are incredible at Montgomery College, and they always help the College community and the security staff when needed.

While I was off the day of this incident, I came into the office as soon as I heard what had happened. When I arrived, Kathy Dayton, a paramedic and Montgomery College coordinator of fire science and emergency services programs, was already in the process of speaking to the security staff on the scene. She has been an incredible resource in helping and training our staff.

Although both Officers Rodriguez and Wilson were the actual ones who performed CPR that day, they will be the first ones to tell you that it would not be possible to do their job well if it were not for the efforts of their shift that day, along with the counselors and responding paramedics.

The good news is that this story has a happy ending, thanks to all who worked quickly to help the student. She is doing great and recently visited the Security Office to thank the officers in person. She shared that her doctor credited the security officers for their immediate response to the medical crisis, which contributed to her life being saved!

This incident reminds me of just how amazing it is that so many people came together so quickly, in a time of need. It makes me very proud to work at Montgomery College." </i>

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Congratulations Security! I think we all feel a lot safer with you on campus. Job well done. Thank you!

Posted by: lcarvall, 5/15/2012 9:39:57 AM

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