On August 2 around 10:00pm, a gentleman collapsed on the dance floor at the American Legion Post 241. “Everything happened so quickly, I didn’t realize what was happening until I saw a group of people huddled up on the floor.” Commander Ken Holloway recalls. Bartender Shane remembers too, “Everything seemed to be fine up until the moment he went down. We weren’t sure what was going on.”
As the chaos unfolded, legion member Bob Lipp assessed the situation and swiftly took charge; “I grabbed the automatic electronic defibrillator (AED)… I did a preliminary evaluation on his condition and a quick look for med alert items or scars that would indicate an implanted device.” There were several off duty nurses who rushed over and were familiar with the AED. They helped Lipp monitor the gentleman’s vitals; “They announced that his pulse and respiration were subpar so I started preparing the AED for use.” With the AED monitoring the man’s condition, he ran outside to make sure help was on the way. Lipp re-entered the building and was made aware that the AED had indicated that a shock was needed. When the man’s pulse returned, Lipp rushed back outside to meet with the fire personnel and gave them a brief run down on the situation. The fire personnel took over monitoring him; when the ambulance arrived the man was responsive, “initially it’s wonderful that he was responsive and wanted to get up again.”
It’s scary incidents like these that make it so important for staff, members, and volunteers to be trained for life threatening situations. Back in January 2018, S.A.L Commander Greg Spaulding had done some statewide campaigning and visited several different legions and noticed that almost every post had emergency/ life saving equipment. At the time, the post didn’t have an AED machine; so he began pushing for the post to get one. Spaulding says; “With all of the different events and activities we have going on throughout the week, it’s really something we should have on hand, it’s very user friendly and should be in every building just in case.”
Commander Ken Holloway was certain that if the AED wasn’t accessible, the victim would not have survived, this is another reason why the Commander feels so strongly that staff and volunteers should be trained and certified to administer and use life saving tactics.
Lipp thanks the nurses and volunteers who jumped into action with him; “I am very grateful that life saving equipment and staff was available and willing to help. Best wishes and prayers to the victim, heartfelt thanks to the nurses involved hands on and to those waiting to relieve them as needed. They are the heroes in these situations.”