Grainger workers, firefighters honored for saving man's life

Updated 12/20/2018 8:44 AM

Firefighters and paramedics from two Lake County departments were honored Wednesday for saving the life of a man whose heart stopped beating.

Several of the man's co-workers were lauded for their efforts, too.


"This patient's life was saved due to the total circle of events of excellent emergency care," said Chief Tom Krueger of the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District, one of the agencies that participated in the rescue.

Five Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire crew members, three Lake Forest Fire Department crew members and eight W.W. Grainger employees received Clinical Save Awards from Zoll Medical Corp., a Massachusetts company that manufactures cardiac monitors, automated external defibrillators and other devices.

The man whose life they saved, a W.W. Grainger employee, attended the gathering at Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Station No. 53 in Vernon Hills, too.

The man suffered cardiac arrest Oct. 15 at the W.W. Grainger headquarters in Mettawa.

Several co-workers jumped to action before emergency crews arrived, performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator in an attempt to restore a proper heartbeat, Krueger said.

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Once they arrived, firefighter-paramedics from both departments continued CPR and using the automated defibrillator. They shocked the man's heart with their equipment, too, and then inserted a tube down the man's throat to allow proper breathing.

After they felt a pulse, the paramedics stopped CPR and administered medication to elevate and maintain blood pressure.

The man was taken to Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital for treatment. He underwent rehabilitation and has since been discharged, Krueger said.

Krueger praised the dispatcher who took the 911 call, the Grainger employees who helped their co-worker, the departmental aid agreement and the paramedics from both departments who handled the emergency.

"All of these components ... combined to save this patient's life," Krueger said.

The Lincolnshire-Riverwoods crew members who received honors were: Battalion Chief Duane Christensen, Lt. Ray Amidei and firefighter-paramedics Jason Sander, Jeff Germann and Nick Gambro.


The Lake Forest Fire Department honorees were Lt. Paul Pugliese and firefighter-paramedics Patrick Issel and Chrissy Stelter.

The W.W. Grainger employees who received awards were Rhonda Ross-Bas, Gary Peters, Mike Malczyk, Steve Hoselton, Eric Hogberg, Julie Hardy, Bill Bremer and Damon Boyd.

It's the second round of awards for the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods crew members. Last month, they received departmental Emergency Medical Services Commendation Awards for their actions, Krueger said.

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