“I do not consider myself a hero; everything that happened that day was due to a team effort,” says Eric Bradshaw, firefighter/paramedic with Rural Metro Fire in Knoxville, Tennessee, a member of the GMR family of solutions.
“That day” that Bradshaw is referring to is when he and his crew members responded to a motor vehicle accident that involved a patient who had suffered multiple and serious life-threatening injuries, including one that could have resulted in a leg amputation. Fortunately for the patient, that scenario didn’t happen, and Bradshaw is the primary reason why.
“By providing fast, life-saving interventions, Eric managed to stabilize the patient and controlled the bleeding, ultimately transporting the patient to a trauma center, where further treatment was administered. The patient has since recovered and is able to lead a normal life, including full use of the leg that was initially considered for amputation. Eric knows the value of working with a team and the importance of staying focused, especially when a life is at stake,” says Scott Roberts, shift commander for Rural Metro Fire.
So where did Bradshaw learn that important “value” of working with a team and staying focused in life and death situations?
“I started working with the fire department in my hometown at the age of 14 through a junior firefighter program and had awesome role models who showed me how to be brave and deal with emergencies. And one of my favorite lessons was that a paramedic should be the calmest one on scene, and everyone else will be calmer too because of that,” he says.
Bradshaw also believes that Rural Metro Fire’s commitment to follow state-of-the-art patient care practices and the training it provides to its team members also played a role in the patient’s favorable outcome.
“I pride myself on keeping up with the latest evidence-based medical techniques to provide the best care to my patients and so does the Rural Metro Fire Department,” he says. “It seemed like we had almost rehearsed that exact call before it happened, and everyone knew exactly what their role was.”
Bradshaw’s heroism that day was one of the reasons he was chosen as one of Global Medical Response’s (GMR) 2022 Stars of Life. The American Ambulance Association Stars of Life award — one of the most distinguished in the EMS industry— was a shock to Bradshaw, who, once again, credited his teammates for their support and added that the real “prize” from that day, was that his patient was back on her feet.
“It’s hard to say what it means to me, because nothing we do is an individual effort,” he said. “It makes me feel incredibly happy that my patient did not lose a leg. The best feeling in the world was when I got to see the patient, walking without assistance, and knowing that we played a role in that…that means everything.”