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Four EMS Staff Recognized During Hospital District Board Meeting — 3 Receive Pins For Efforts Saving A Life, 1 For 36 Years Service

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Four Hopkins County EMS staff members were recognized during the regular December 2022 Hopkins County Hospital District Board of Directors meeting last week.

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Hopkins County EMS Director/Hospital District CEO Brent Smith recognizes Laura Ballard for 36 Years of Dedicated Service to Hopkins County EMS.

Service Recognition

Laura Ballard was recognized for 36 years of dedicated service with Hopkins County EMS, starting in 1986.

“She’s been serving the citizens of Hopkins County over the terms of 7 US Presidents. Exactly 36 year ago today is when she started. That’s 4,320 shifts on the ambulance, away from her family for 24 hours at a time. That’s almost 12 years of work for Hopkins County EMS, which is 4 years more than the average 8 to 5 job,” said Hospital District CEO/EMS Director Brent Smith on Dec. 13, 2022.

Smith presented Ballard with a crystal award thanking her leadership, service and dedication to HCEMS service.

“Now, the special things is we’re not going to be losing Laura. She’s coming over to the admin side. She’s going to be working alongside Stacy. She’s just changing departments,” Smith noted.

Life Saving Recognition

Three paramedics received a special award during the Dec. 13, 2022, Hopkins County Hospital District Board of Directors meetings

Hopkins County EMS Shift Supervisor Jeff Sanderson explained the EMS service recognizes staff hose who perform outstanding service. When an ambulance crews “runs a full arrest,” they are eligible to receive a ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) pin. They return any previous ROSC pins and exchange it for a new one for the additional number of saves.

Another special pin that can be given is a CPR Save pin. Sanderson said in his 30 years in the EMS service, he can only recall three times in which one has been awarded. When an EMS service or other first responder is credited with saving a life using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for a full arrest in which the patient eventually leaves the hospital neurologically intact, they are eligible to receive a CPR Save Citation Bar.

This week, three members of Hopkins County EMS received the Save pins for a June 29, 2022 call involving a cardiac arrest, which turned out to be a bit more difficult than usual.

Sanderson, EMS Bradford Berry and Paramedic Jacob Kelso responded to a 911 call in which dispatchers advised the caller’s condition was deteriorating. The crew arrived on scene, then spoke to the patient long enough to figure out who she was

“It wasn’t hard because we all knew her, then she coded,” Sanderson said, looking toward Clary Parker, with whom they’d worked on different occasions over the years. “Nothing prepares you for that. It was very stressful.”

The crew followed protocol, beginning CPR, and continued to give care while transporting her to the emergency room, where the “ER staff went above and beyond” to save Parker.

“And because of that, she’s sitting right over there,” an emotional Sanderson said, calling on Parker to present the pins to the two paramedics who cared for her on the call.

“What do you say to someone that saved your life other than thank you? But, I’m here today because they recognized that I was in a full arrest and went above and beyond everybody did. All I can say is thank you. I need to hug you,” Parker said before presenting each member of the team with his pin.

“For those of you who don’t know, Clary has been a house supervisors at the hospital a long time. It’s a miracle she’s here. It is a tribute to what Jeff said, first responders, their quick responders getting her quick to the hospital. It was very shocking for our staff to see someone you’ve worked with for a long time in that condition,” CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs CEO Paul Harvey said.

Author: Faith Huffman

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