Patient Story

The important connection between Police, Fire, and Hospital

By Louis Martin April 30, 2019

Emergency survivor James Lombardo meets the first responders who worked together so effectively to save his life.

The efforts of several groups in St. Clair Shores who work together daily to save lives was recently recognized by a patient who survived a life-threatening, emergency situation. Patient James Lombardo and the non-profit organization “Save MI Heart” gathered together with the St. Clair Shores Police and Fire Departments, and Ascension St. John Hospital CV and ED physicians to honor the effective response and “chain” of life saving hand-offs that saved Mr. Lombardo’s life after he suffered a cardiac arrest in an auto accident.

Last Thursday, Mr. Lombardo met the police officers who were on the scene and heard how they began CPR immediately and administered AED shocks, as well as the fire department personnel who arrived to administer mechanical CPR, medication, and advanced airway management. James also was able to greet Dr. Hani Kador who had placed the stents in his coronary arteries, and Dr. Robert Dunne, Vice Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Ascension St. John Hospital.

In a touching tribute, James thanked police and fire personnel, and hospital physicians for saving his life and giving him more precious time with his loved ones.

The event not only recognized the effective “chain of lifesaving hand-offs”, but also highlighted the fact that many times, the efforts of first responders begin quickly and continue fast and focused until the eventual hand-off in the hospital ED. The first responders then return to their community to start the process again of helping those in need. This can make their life-saving work feel unnoticed at times since the people they save may never meet them, and they may never learn about the patient’s eventual status. In this meaningful event, all the people of the “lifesaving chain” gathered together to meet one another, recognize each other’s work and the importance of each department’s function.