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News
07/17/2013
Berthoud man thanks emergency responders for life-saving efforts

For immediate release: July 17, 2013

Contact:
Kelly Tracer, 970.624.1211, Kelly.Tracer@uchealth.org 

Berthoud man thanks emergency responders for life-saving efforts

In an emergency, every minute counts.

For Berthoud resident Myles Decker, a matter of minutes saved his life.

Photo by Zant Reyez/The Johnstown Breeze

Berthoud resident Myles Decker, fourth from left, stands with members of the Johnstown Fire Protection District and University of Colorado Health Emergency Medical Services after an awards presentation July 8 in Johnstown. From left, Johnstown-Milliken Fire Chief Ron Bateman presented awards to Lt. Shane Doyon, firefighter Kate Jennings, medic Bryon Kerbs, EMT Brandi Rush, firefighter Zach Cain, firefighter Colton Wright and firefighter Chris Linder. Medic Kim Powers was not pictured.

Photo by Kelly Tracer/University of Colorado Health

Berthoud resident Myles Decker talks with some of the emergency responders who saved his life after he suffered a heart attack. Medic Bryon Kerbs introduces his daughter,
Faith. Other responders pictured are (from left) Lt. Shane Doyon, firefighter Zach Cain, firefighter Colton Wright, EMT Brandi Rush and firefighter Chris Linder. 

Photo by Kelly Tracer/University of Colorado Health

Myles Decker, 49, presents University of Colorado Health medic Bryon Kerbs with a life saver award on July 8 at the Johnstown Fire Protection District station. Five responders from the fire district and three responders from UCHealth EMS were honored for their work helping to save the life of Decker on June 3.

The 49-year-old father of four was working a construction job in a goat barn in southern Weld County the morning of June 3, when something didn’t seem right. He felt a little dizzy, told a coworker he wasn’t feeling well and dropped down onto one knee. That’s all he can remember.

Decker’s heart had stopped beating, and he needed help fast. Two colleagues on site performed CPR and started a chain of life-saving actions. A crew from the Johnstown Fire Protection District arrived about nine minutes later and an ambulance from University of Colorado Health EMS followed three minutes later. The responders shocked Decker’s heart to get it beating again, started IVs and rushed him to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, where staff cared for him for two weeks.

Shortly after he returned home, Decker wanted to find the men and women who helped save his life to thank them in person.

“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. I am so thankful. I’ve got four children and a beautiful wife, and we are very fortunate to have you here. You are such as asset for the community,” Decker told the responders before presenting a life saver award to each of them.

Johnstown-Milliken Fire Chief Ron Bateman said Decker’s survival story is a testament to the district’s commitment to advanced life support training for fire crews as well as the district’s new partnership with UCHealth.

“They don’t do this for the appreciation, it’s just another day on the job,” Bateman said. “I know that just getting the chance to meet and shake hands with Mr. Decker today is probably thanks enough, but I just want to give you a small token of my appreciation for some of the incredible stuff that has happened in the past year,” he said referring to advance training many members of his department have gone through in the past year, including intravenous administration and intubation procedure training.

UCHealth EMS started providing ambulance service to Johnstown, Milliken, Windsor and Severance on May 15, less than three weeks before Decker suffered the heart attack. The partnership is part of a plan to improve ambulance response times to those communities, which cover 198 square miles and include about 50,000 residents, as well as to increase emergency medical training for firefighters.

Steve Main, director of UCHealth EMS, said the partnership was designed specifically to provide the best coordinated care possible. “When we were thinking about what was the best way to serve this population, we decided the best method was to live, train and work together. Then, when you are on a call, it’s second nature. You can almost anticipate what needs to happen and your role because of all of the training you’ve done,” he said.

With one ambulance stationed at each of the Johnstown/Milliken and Windsor/Severance headquarters, Bateman said the new system is better equipped to handle more than one call at a time, which was the case on June 3.

“When the call came in, the ambulance in Milliken was out on another call, and the other UCHealth ambulance slid seamlessly into place, arriving on scene in the very southern area of the Johnstown Fire Protection District in rural Weld County in just over 12 minutes,” Bateman said.

“This system was designed to save lives, and we are thrilled that Mr. Decker came to honor those in the field who have worked so hard to make the system work,” Bateman added.

“If it hadn’t been for them getting there so quickly, I wouldn’t be here. I’m thankful for God for giving me a second chance and family for taking care of me,” Decker said.

 

  • DO YOU KNOW the signs of a heart attack? Click here for more details.

 

About University of Colorado Health

University of Colorado Health is a Front Range health system that delivers the highest quality patient care with the highest quality patient experience.  University of Colorado Health combines Memorial Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, Colorado Health Medical Group (formerly Poudre Valley Medical Group), and University of Colorado Hospital into an organization dedicated to building a healthier community and providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West.  Separately, these institutions can continue providing superior care to patients and service to the communities they serve. Together, they push the boundaries of medicine, attracting more research funding, hosting more clinical trials and improving health through innovation.

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