A Race to the Finish

August 11, 2020

On August 1, 2019, EMTs Kim Baker and Brandon Camarota were part of the team deployed to provide EMS event coverage at a NASCAR race at the Eldora Speedway. 

During the race, our crew was dispatched to the stands for a patient down, not breathing, CPR in progress call. The crew arrived at the patient’s side in one minute and determined the patient, a 62-year-old male without any medical history, had stopped breathing and had no pulse. The crew applied an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), while on-site sheriff deputies and off-duty EMTs from Ansonia and Cedarville Townships performed CPR. Our crew delivered the first of four countershocks while the other responders continued with their resuscitation efforts. 

On-scene AMR Paramedic Supervisor Dan Welty arrived and led the balance of the resuscitation efforts. Because of the location and circumstances, it took the incredible effort of all three crew members, two sheriff deputies and two off-duty first responders to move from the very crowded stands to the ambulance. The team executed with perfection despite the distraction of the race and its 30,000 spectators. 

The facility where the racetrack physician was stationed was inaccessible because of the ongoing race. The team opted for immediate transport to the nearest hospital, approximately 16 miles away. The crew navigated heavy traffic and alerted the hospital that a cardiac patient was on the way. 

As the crew continued to work on the patient, ten minutes into the transport, the patient began to moan and subsequently regained consciousness and his ability to speak. By the time our crew completed its paperwork and cleared the hospital, the patient was sitting upright in the ED, conscious, alert and well-oriented.  

The patient, Robert Lutes, is grateful to have another tomorrow. He was able to visit our Dayton, Ohio operation to sign his Tomorrow Wall plaque and meet the crew who saved his life. 

The Tomorrow Wall is on display in operations across AMR and serves as a constant reminder of the importance of early, high-quality CPR, timely defibrillation and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

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