Clark County Fire & Rescue recognized multiple community heroes on Thursday, May 9 at Fire Station 21. Local citizen Suzanne Koller, CRESA Dispatch Supervisor Julie Walker and Ridgefield police officers Tyler King and Andrew Marvitz all received the Fire Chief’s Life Saving award for providing critical life-saving care to Suzanne’s mother in law during a heart attack.
Firefighters, police officers and community members gathered at the fire station for refreshments and conversation just before the ceremony at 5:30 p.m.
Prior to the awards being given out, Fire Chief John Nohr stated the importance for everyone to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation, (CPR), noting CPR is enough to help until more advanced medical care comes.
CPR training proved a vital role on March 25 when Kolle noticed her mother-in-law was showing signs of a medical emergency. After her husband made a call to 911, Walker provided Kolle with CPR instructions over the phone.
Prior to the 911 call, Kolle had never performed CPR before and learned everything she needed to know from Walker. “I was like, I kinda know that part,” Kolle said when asked about her experience doing CPR. “Really, what you see on TV kind of sticks and helps you.”
While patrolling the area, Ridgefield police officers Tyler King and Andrew Marvitz heard the call for a ‘CPR in progress’ and headed to the scene. Since Ridgefield police officers carry Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) in their patrol cars, officer King was able to administer the AED as office Marvitz took over CPR.
Shortly after, Clark County Fire & Rescue reached the residence and the patient had regained a pulse, was able to make “purposeful movements” and even smiled at the crew. Kolle’s mother-in-law was discharged from the hospital a few days later with no major impacts.
More than one award
The ceremony also recognized Mat Akers, a local firefighter who “sprung” into action to save a life while off-duty. On April 12, while vacationing with his family in Florida, firefighter Akers noticed an elderly man in distress on the water and heard calls from the victims family.
Akers removed the distressed person from the water and noticed he was in cardiac arrest. With assistance from bystanders, Akers performed CPR on the victim until care from the local emergency response could take over.
“Akers, while off duty and without the benefit of rescue equipment and other trained responders, removed the victim from the water and initiated critical life-saving care,” Fire Chief Nohr said at the ceremony on Thursday before awarding Akers with the Fire Chief’s Life Saving Award.