That Day at the Lake

September 12, 2022

It was supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation for Micheline Allaire Clement. The flight nurse with AirMed International out of Ypsilanti, Michigan was off duty at her cabin in Canada, enjoying some much-deserved personal time with her family. But Clement’s plans for a little “R & R” were abruptly cut short when a family member suffered sudden cardiac arrest.

Within seconds, Clement, the vacationer, transformed back to Clement, the EMS professional, and immediately performed CPR on her relative while others called for help. She continued administering chest compression and defibrillation until first responders arrived.

“You don’t expect to get an AED (automated external defibrillator) when you are at the lake and far from the city,” said Clement. “Lucky me, the campsite bought one years back and never used it. My family member survived with short-term memory deficit but recovered fully after a week.” 

Luck, however, had nothing to do with the life that was saved near the lake that day, but rather everything to do with Clement’s skill and medical training. Clement, who has an M.S in Nursing and two advanced certifications—Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) and Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN)— is respected by members of her leadership for her impeccable work ethic and empathy.

“Micheline is continually pursuing the highest standards in patient care and is always an inspiration to her co-workers,” said Michael Doty, Program Director for AirMed International. “She’s known for her remarkable gift for making patients and their family members feel at ease no matter what the situation.” 

And on that day at the lake, it was Clement’s family members who likely felt the comfort that so many of her patients have felt under her care — the comfort of knowing they’re in the presence of a knowledgeable medical expert, who’s going to do everything she can for the patient’s well-being.

That very act of caring and intervention is what prompted Clement’s leaders to choose her as one of GMR’s 2022 Stars of Life — the most prestigious award in the EMS industry.

“I am very proud to represent AirMed International under the flight team umbrella,” she said. “I have been a nurse for more than 30 years, and a flight nurse for 17 years at various companies. I love what I do, and this award comes as a surprise as so many of us do a wonderful job caring for patients.” 

Yes, caring for patients is what Clement does well, but on that day at the lake, it was a family member who became the patient she had to care for, making the stakes a little bit more emotional. Still, and as in cases with other patients, Clement delivered, protecting the life of someone she knew, but likely never thought she’d have to save. 

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