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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Firefighters Awarded for Saving a Childs Life - Child and Family Meet the Rescuer’s

Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Fire Chief Marc S.Bashoor presented three firefighters with Emergency Services Awards today at a ceremony held at the Clinton Fire/EMS Station.  Chief Bashoor was assisted in his awards presentation by 5-year-old Christina Luckett along with her parents, grandmother and scores of family members and co-workers.  In making the presentation Bashoor stated, “Thanks to your skills, quick thinking and initiative to think outside the box a young girls life was saved.  For your performance, which undoubtedly saved the life of your patient, you are hereby presented a Fire/EMS Department Emergency Service Award.  Congratulations and thank you for an outstanding job!  Your actions represent the excellent service our Department strives to provide to the citizens of Prince George’s County.”  He continued by saying, "This incident is a true example of career and volunteer members of our department working together to bringing what could have been a tragedy to a successful conclusion."

At about 9:15 on the evening of Monday, November 21, a family member of a 5-year-old female called 911 to report the young child was having an asthma attack and was not responding to medication or treatment.  While the 911 call taker was obtaining information you could hear in the background a young child coughing and gasping for breath.  Firefighters at the Clinton Fire/EMS Station were alerted to the emergency call for a child with difficulty breathing.  While firefighters were being alerted by Public Safety Communications dispatchers the 911 call taker stayed on the line and provided pre-arrival instructions to the family member.

The ambulance from the Clinton Fire/EMS Station was already busy on another call and the advanced life support paramedic unit assigned to the Clinton station had just cleared a call but was located some distance away.  Firefighters responded to the residence at 8501 Weimar Court on-board an engine that is typically dispatched to fires and has a limited quantity of first-aid equipment.  Responding on the engine was Fire Fighter/Medic Edward Scott, Fire Fighter William Philpott and Clinton Volunteer Fire Fighter Ashley Butler. 

Upon arrival, they found a relative holding the child, in obvious respiratory distress, trying to administer a "neb" treatment.  Firefighter/Medic Scott and Volunteer Fire Fighter Butler took over care of the child and started their assessments. Fire Fighter Philpott, took a relative aside and start to gather medical history.

While performing the patient assessment FF/Medic Scott noticed the child has stopped "fighting", the child’s lips were turning blue, and her respiration's had started to decrease. At this point the 5-year-old female “crashed” and “coded” and was in respiratory arrest.   

Scott summoned Philpott back to the room where the child was being treated.  Philpott saw that the firefighters had initiated cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and immediately asked dispatchers via his 2-way radio what the estimated time of arrival of the medic unit was.  He was advised “about five minutes.”

Fire Fighter/Medic Scott was assigned to the engine crew that day.  He is a trained and experienced paramedic, yet, performing a firefighters duty for the day on the engine, he did not have any advanced life support equipment and medication available and knew that time was critically important.

Fearing for the child’s welfare and realizing she needed immediate medical intervention at a hospital for any chance of survival, the crew made the decision to transport their patient to Southern Maryland Hospital on-board the engine, knowing they could be at the hospital before the medic unit arrived.
The firefighters continued CPR on-board the engine and responded to Southern Maryland Hospital which was just minutes away from the residence.  Before reaching the emergency room the child started to have spontaneous respiration's and a pulse.  Five year old Christina Luckett was stabilized at Southern Maryland Hospital and then transferred to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC where she stayed for 3 days before being allowed to go home.
Christina presented each of her heroes with a plaque of thanks and gratitude that included a picture of herself and was signed by her family members.  Her mother, Shawuan Bailey, spoke and thanked the firefighters.  She addressed the firefighters and said, "Thank you for choosing the profession that you did because you have made a difference in a family's life."
Aleta Hughes, Christina's grandmother, made the 911 call and said that between Thanksgiving and Christmas the family could not received a better gift and are sincerely grateful for the actions of the firefighters.

Clinton Volunteer Fire Fighter Ashley Butler, Fire Fighter William Philpott and Fire Fighter/Medic Edward Scott with Emergency Services Awards presented by Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.
Fire Fighter/Medic Edward Scott talks with the mother and grandmother of Christina.

5-year-old Christina Luckett presents plaques of gratitude to her heroes.

Christina and Clinton Volunteer Fire Fighter Ashley Butler

Clinton Volunteer Fire Fighter Ashley Butler proudly displays her plaque of gratitude.

Fire Fighter William Philpott displays his items of recognition with his son, Zachary, at his side.
Photo by Denise Dickens
Photo by Denise Dickens

The three firefighters conduct a media interview.