July 4, 2022

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Along The Westfield River, First Responders Were Recognised For Saving A Life.

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Along The Westfield River, First Responders Were Recognised For Saving A Life

Last week, the Hampshire County Emergency Medical Services held their annual award ceremony to honor firefighters, EMTs, and a 911 dispatcher for saving the life of a man who had suffered head injuries after falling approximately 20 feet onto rocks near the edge of the Westfield River while traversing rough terrain. Deputy Chief Kim Dresser was recognized for saving his life.

First Responders Honored For Saving Lives

Temperatures in late July of 2020 reached the mid-to-high-90s, just a few months after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease had only just begun. The group’s operational headquarters was located at a rest station on Route 9 close to Wilder Road.

For the rescue team to get to a swimming spot, which was quite popular with locals, they had to go about a mile through the Gilbert A. Bliss State Forest and cross the Westfield River carrying medical supplies. Off the beaten path was the only way for the team to reach the injured man in time. The emergency response team used a Stokes stretcher to transport the person to Route 9.

At the top of the final twenty-foot embankment, the Stokes stretcher was raised to the top of the wall by a bucket truck driven by Bernie Forget, who had previously served as the chief of the Cummington Fire Department. He was flown to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield via air ambulance. 

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According to the officer’s recollections, on March 21, Wayzata Police received a call about a woman in Long Lake who was having difficulties breathing. A concerned citizen submitted the report. CPR was performed on the victim by two officers from the Wayzata Police Department and firefighters from the Long Lake Fire Department until the arrival of paramedics.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which leads to decreased lung function, is an additional problem attributed to her advanced age. She received treatment for both that condition and a heart arrest that had also taken place while she was in the hospital. When asked if his wife’s partner, Steve Kranz, had contracted out to thank the people who had helped during the incident, he responded with a “yes.”

As Van Eyll was introducing Kranz to the stage, he mentioned that Steve Kranz’s wife was still in the audience to take part in the festivities. Kranz continued, “I’d like to thank every one of them.” Your next-door neighbor just showed up at two in the morning carrying an oxygen tank with no prior notice. Andy Sharratt and Brandon Haapoja, both of the Wayzata Police Department, were honored with Lifesaving Awards for their work doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Even though “most of you and certainly him were asleep at 2:45 in the morning,” he observed, “you have a workforce like this that is willing to show up and do their work,” he continued. 

They will try to convince you that all they were doing was their job, although, in some instances, it can be a very satisfying one. Risvold stated that “everyone knows that they’ve done a great thing” because the police were given life-saving pins to wear on their uniforms.

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