The message on Brad Harp’s shirt summed up the situation perfectly – “We Got This."
Thanks to some quick action and reliance on their education and training, four emergency medical care students and an instructor from Eastern Kentucky University played an integral role in a life-saving situation.
As they were returning from a conference in Baltimore, Maryland, EKU instructor David Fifer and EMC students Leah Gaddis, Richmond; Jon Gaddis, Corbin; Brad Harp, Lexington; and Ashley Brosmer, Plainfield, Ind., were among the first to come upon a serious wreck on the interstate near Charleston, West Virginia.
The damage to the wrecked pickup and the condition of the injured driver told them that immediate help was critical. Jon Gaddis rolled down the window of their vehicle and said, "Hey, we're a truckload of paramedics. You guys need any help?"
According to Gaddis, the driver was “in a bad spot.” He and his colleagues did a quick assessment of the situation. This is what they have been trained to do. Their instincts took over.
Despite not having any emergency equipment, the students and Fifer helped as best they could. “The only equipment we had was just us and what we have been taught,” said Leah Gaddis.
According to Fifer, because the accident victim had a diminished level of consciousness and lot of fluid in his airway, their first priority was to ensure he wasn’t choking. “We had to do a lot of work to make sure that didn’t happen.”
The students and Fifer helped support the spine of the injured driver while firefighters cut him out of the truck with the “jaws of life.”
Because of their quick action, the driver is expected to make a full recovery.
“Our training definitely paid off,” said Leah Gaddis. “To be there for that man, it was just a wonderful experience.”