Man thanks LVAC crew for saving his life

Derek Garner, right, thanks LVAC paramedic Jason Kaese for saving his life.

An Orchard Park man whose life was saved by Lancaster Volunteer Ambulance Corps (LVAC) paramedics thanked the crew Dec. 30 during a ceremony at the corps’ headquarters.

Jason Kaese and Jerren Myers responded Nov. 13 to a 911 call for a man with chest pain at a restaurant on Transit Road.

The crew assessed 56-year-old Derek Garner and determined he was experiencing a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia. The crew read the arrhythmia on the ambulance’s cardiac monitor and defibrillated Garner five times prior to arrival at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC).

A readout of Garner’s heart rhythm was sent from the ambulance to ECMC via cell phone.

“Mr. Garner is alive today because of the crew’s quick action and training,” LVAC President Chester Popiolkowski said. “With our technology the hospital was prepared for the patient prior to his arrival.”

Read media reports of the event from WIVB Channel 4, WKBW Channel 7, Erie County Fire Wire, The Buffalo News and the Erie County Fire Blotter.

Garner was brought to ECMC’s catheterization lab where artery blockages were removed. LVAC has worked closely with ECMC to get the hospital its state cath lab accreditation, which will greatly improve cardiac care in Western New York.

Garner contacted LVAC after he was discharged from the hospital and said he wished to thank the crew that saved his life. The crew was also presented with a certificate of appreciation.

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