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Polk County Fire Rescue personnel recognized for heroic actions | Community Spirit

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Polk County Fire Rescue personnel recognized for heroic actions
Polk County Fire Rescue personnel recognized for heroic actions

Polk County Fire Rescue personnel were recognized at the Feb. 28 school board meeting for saving the life of a school board employee in January.

On Jan. 2, the first day back for Christmas break, the school board employee collapsed and went into full cardiac arrest. Her co-workers at the Polk County Schools Learning Center, located on the Bartow Airbase, quickly activated their emergency response plan. 911 was called, an AED retrieved and CPR was immediately administered. Connie Shimko, nurse and AED coordinator for the District’s AED program, said that a shock was delivered in 97 seconds.

Polk County Fire Rescue arrived within minutes and took over CPR. The Fire Rescue team of EMT RobinGilileo, Paramedic Tracey Verne, Lt. Nic Brown, Carl Gilileo and Bryan Serdynski were able to get a faint pulse before she was transported to the hospital.

Polk County Rescue Chief Benny Luke commended the School District team and recognized the County Fire Rescue team that responded.

“We feel our people on the scene that day are heroes. They go out there for 24 hours on their shift and make a difference,” he said. “But they could not have done their job if it where not for the heroes at the school board office that day. Had they not acted, we would not be doing this recognition tonight.”  

Leslie Roberts, President of Altra Medical, provided HeartSaver Awards to those involved in the rescue.  She said, “I am proud to say this is the 45th life saved by one of our clients.”  “Polk County has an excellent Public Access Defibrillation Program (PAD Program) with over 680 Philips defibrillators deployed, as evident tonight with saving the life of [this employee].

Polk County Fire Rescue, in conjunction with the Board of County Commissioners Organization & Employee Development, has begun teaching hands only CPR to county employees.

The class is open to any county employee interested but class sizes are limited. The class teaches hands only CPR, which is chest compressions only with no mouth-to-mouth contact, the Heimlich maneuver and the proper use of an AED.

“Compressions only CPR is easy to learn and retain, and is effective when used in cases of sudden cardiac arrest,” said Polk County Rescue Chief Benny Luke. “Compressions only CPR, combined with early access to Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s), improves a victim’s likelihood of surviving cardiac arrest.”

Visit Polk County on the web, www.polk-county.net.

Release courtesy Polk County Fire Rescue.

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