Duplin Co. EMS receives Lifesaver Award for heroic actions

DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–Duplin County first responders received one of the highest awards possible for saving a life.

Duplin County EMS medics are quite simply heroes working to save lives, and their heroic actions for one extraordinary call were recently recognized.

On July 21, medics received a call of an unresponsive woman in Duplin County.  Shift supervisor Michael Johnson was the first on scene arriving in, what he estimates, three to six minutes. When he arrived, he found Rosa Kenan in cardiac arrest. Her coworkers had already been working to revive her.

“She wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse,” Johnson said. “I had them start doing chest compressions while I set the defibrillator up.”

Soon after getting her pulse back, they lost it. With a little more work, the group of medics was finally able to revive Kenan. What happened next, they describe as one in a million.

“10 to 15 minutes of arriving at the hospital, she was sitting up looking around,” Johnson said. He attributes her bounce back to the coworkers who were trained in CPR and an automatic defibrillator.

“Those kinds of things just don’t happen,” he said. “Usually, when someone goes down in cardiac arrest, they get transported out to another facility and they may stay in a coma for several days to a couple of weeks.”

On Thursday, Kenan returned to Station 8 to thank those who saved her. The group was awarded Lifesaver 1 pins on Monday, the highest honor they can earn for their actions.

“I appreciate it to the highest,” Kenan said. “I’ll always be grateful, and may God bless each and every one of them. Even my coworkers.”

For the medics, the thank you’s make their tough work worth it.

“The commendation is nice but it’s being able to stop by and see Miss Kenan at her office that’s the real reward,” Johnson said.

Johnson says he encourages everyone to be trained in CPR and the use of an automated defibrillator. You never know, you might just save a life.

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