Seconds count when responding to traumatic injuries and thanks to the response of members of Corsicana EMS and PHI Air Medical, a gunshot victim received lifesaving medical care the night of Sept. 3 in Navarro County.
Dudley Wilcoxson, Trauma EMS Liaison with Parkland Memorial Hospital presented awards Wednesday to those involved in the incident and said, without a doubt, they saved the man’s life. The EMS Lifesaver Recognition Awards are given for outstanding lifesaving trauma care on a patient transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
“We ask what did EMS do in the field that changed the outcome for the patient?” Wilcoxson said.
“There was some type of intervention in the field which led to a great outcome. In this case, the patient went through rehab and was discharged and eventually sent home.”
Corsicana Fire Capt. Brad Roughton said he remembers the night well.
“It was an extremely busy night and all four front line ambulance and both reserve ambulances were already out on calls when the county dispatched the gunshot call,” he said. “Firefighter Tyler Pollock and his crew were at an accident on Business Highway 45 and I was in the Captain's Tahoe. Since we were lacking ambulances, I grabbed firefighter Pollock and a trauma kit off Engine Two and we responded to the shooting.”
Pollock said he and Capt. Roughton were on the scene about 15 minutes before an ambulance arrived.
“When we got there the patient had a gunshot wound to the left side of his chest,” Pollock said. “We did patient care until the ambulance got there at which point we hooked him up to IVs and transported him to PHI’s base at the Corsicana airport.”
Transporting directly to the PHI site bought the chopper crew some time as they did not have to find a landing zone and could fly straight to Parkland.
Pollock said he had been on similar calls but never with the limited resources available that night.
“We had the trauma kit and it was when our training really kicked in,” he said. “Capt. Roughton has been a medic way longer than I have so having him there was fantastic.”
Roughton said he may have been a paramedic longer than Pollock but his skills may have been rustier.
“I was very fortunate to have Tyler with me, he’s a great paramedic,” he said.
Also honored and on the call were Corsicana paramedics Colton Steed and rookie Caleb Clements, who was working his first shift outside of training. He said he recalls the night extremely well.
“I remember speeding through town, I didn’t know where I was going but the Captain sent me the address,” Clements said. “When I got there the Captain and Pollock were there working, I was nervous, and I still feel like the little brother at times but it was calming to be under these guys.”
Awards were also given to PHI Air Medical nurse Debbie Combs and pilot Matt Skelton.
“A big factor now is the helicopter’s ability to carry a blood supply,” Wilcoxson said. “It’s like having a trauma room in the helicopter. Giving the blood changed the outcome of this patient.”