First responders save woman’s life at Walmart

By Brian McCauley
Miami County Republic – September 19, 2018

Paola Firefighter Justin Fields and Paola Fire Chief Andy Martin. Photo by Brian McCauley

When off-duty Paola firefighter Justin Fields first arrived at the garden center inside Paola’s Walmart on the afternoon of Aug. 3, the situation did not look good.

A woman was on the ground and unresponsive, and when Fields realized she wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse, he immediately began administering CPR.

Paola police officers and members of Miami County Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the scene at 2:46 p.m., and officer Dustin Hawkins was one of the first to arrive.

Hawkins immediately began hooking up an AED unit to the woman while Fields continued to administer CPR. The AED indicated that a shock was needed, and it was given.

When EMS workers arrived shortly thereafter, they found that the woman now had a pulse, and she was rushed to Olathe Medical Center, where she underwent emergency surgery for a severe heart attack.

“According to EMS personnel, the victim would not have survived if not for the quick actions of both the police officer and firefighter,” Paola Police Chief Don Poore told Paola City Council members during their Sept. 11 meeting.

Poore also said he wanted to publicly thank the Baehr Foundation for providing funding the department has used to put AED units in patrol vehicles.

“This is the third life we’ve saved with AED units purchased by Baehr grants,” Poore told the council members.

Poore presented the Life Saving Award and uniform pin to Hawkins, with several of his fellow officers proudly looking on from the audience.

Paola Fire Chief Andy Martin then presented the Life Saving Award to Fields, and he too had a full house of firefighters in full uniform proudly watching him.

Lt. Chad Corbin of the Paola Police Department was the supervisor on scene during the Aug. 3 incident, and he nominated both Hawkins and Fields for the Life Saving Award based on their actions that day.

Both men received a lengthy ovation from council members and audience attendees.


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