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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Off Duty and Retired PGFD Medics Save a Teen's Life

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department recently became aware of life saving actions by two members. Fire Fighter/Medic Antonio D. Cole and retired Fire Fighter/Medic Melvin Batts performed cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a 13-year-old male drowning victim and were successful in his resuscitation. Antonio Cole, off-duty at the time and Melvin Batts, retired from the Department, are credited with saving the young man’s life.

Cole and Batts were attending a July 4th family gathering in Waldorf, MD. A 13-year-old male was swimming in the deep end of a backyard pool and accidentally swallowed a large amount of water and subsequently resulted in him losing consciousness and sinking to the bottom. It is not clear how long he lay at the bottom of the pool but when he was noticed, two of his uncles dove into the pool and brought him to the top. Family members described the unconscious teen’s condition as lifeless with no pulse, no respirations and a blue skin tone in his extremities. Cole and Batts immediately went to the teen’s aid and after a rapid patient assessment, initiated CPR. Bystanders estimated that CPR had been administered for nearly 7 minutes when the teen started to cough and display some signs of life. The two veteran medics loaded the teen into their own vehicle and drove him to the closest hospital.

The teen’s condition and vital signs were closely monitored while en route and prior to arriving at the hospital, the teen had regained a pulse and was breathing on his own. Emergency Room staff conveyed to family members that if it had not been for the skills of the EMS providers that the outcome would have been tragic. After stabilizing the patient he was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC, where he spent two days in the Intensive Care Unit before being released.

While at home and being told of his ordeal, the teen cannot stop expressing his thanks to everyone involved in his rescue.

Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “Congratulations to the victim who has survived a close call and congratulations to Cole and Batts for their quick actions that resulted in saving a life. Your actions are held in the highest regard of the Fire/EMS service and exemplifies that your firefighting and EMS training and skills are a valuable resource, no matter where you use them.”

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