Haltom City Fire/Rescue issued a proclamation recognizing the responsive actions taken by staff after a teacher collapsed during the school day. The proclamation was presented at the July 23rd, 2018 City Council meeting.
On Thursday, May 24, 2018, Haltom City Fire Department responded to a call regarding an “unconscious person” at North Oak Middle School, located at 4800 Jordon Park. The response to this type of call is one that the fire department makes too often, with an outcome that is rarely a positive one. This call, however, would prove to be something special, one of those calls that even in the fire service you might only see once in a career. Due to the efforts and training of some wonderful people who worked together, a man’s life was saved.
pictured L to R: Firefighter Doreteo Reyes, Jr., Firefighter Daniel McCurdy, Lt. Greg Wagner, Firefighter Chad Hopkins, Lt. Benjamin Sayen, Lt. Christopher Tyrone, Nurse Lily Kingsbury, Firefighter Jacob Day, Alex Snider, James Linwood, Andy Ramirez, Andrew Lawver, Susan Dean, Jennifer Klaerner, School Resource Officer Carl Cage & Fire Chief Perry Bynum.
Mr. Allen Hopkins was filling the role as substitute teacher at North Oak Middle School on that Thursday morning. He had a break between classes and had just entered the teacher’s lounge. Alex Snider and Patrick Linwood were also in the teacher’s lounge. Alex stated that he saw Mr. Hopkins walk in and collapsed, falling face first on to the floor. Alex immediately responded and rolled Mr. Hopkins over onto his back and began assessing the situation. Mr. Snider realized that he was going to need help and asked Patrick Linwood to call for help. Mr. Linwood was able to locate Principal Jennifer Klaerner and Assistant Principles Susan Dean and Andrew Lawver. Andrew immediately called for the nurse, Lily Kingsbury.
Upon her arrival, Nurse Lily Kingsbury quickly assessed Mr. Hopkins and asked Andrew Lawver to activate the AED team. The AED team consist of Assistant Principle Andrew Lawver, RN Nurse Lily Kingsbury, Educational Assistant Andy Ramirez, Educational Assistant Luis Ramos and Teacher/Coach Johnny Evans. Nurse Kingsbury instructed Alex Snider to retrieve the AED, which was approximately 50 feet from their location. The AED team members quickly arrived at the scene, where Andy Ramirez assumed chest compression duty from Lily Kingsbury, who had already checked for a pulse and had begun the initial chest compressions. Nurse Kingsbury began to give the patient mouth-to mouth ventilation as Andy Ramirez continued with chest compressions. Alex Snider returned with the AED and defibrillation pads were placed on the patient’s chest. The analyze button was pressed and a shock was advised. Everyone removed themselves from physical contact with Mr. Hopkins and the shock was delivered. The patient’s carotid pulse was checked and detected by the nurse. The patient began to have spontaneous movements. Chest compression were halted due to the patient’s response.
The time between Mr. Hopkins falling to the floor until the AED shocks were administered was less than two minutes. The timing that transpired in this scenario is nothing short of amazing. This was the best example of a team of individuals who responded and reacted to save a life.
School Resource Officer Carl Cage recognized the severity of the incident and contacted dispatch to tone out the Haltom City Fire/Rescue Department and Medstar. AED team member Luis Ramirez helped keep the scene safe by controlling the crowd and Johnny Evans assisted in going through the check list to assure everything had been covered during the stressful incident. The events of Thursday, May 24th, are proof that training and preparation, quick action combined with systematic thinking can save lives. On behalf of Mr. Hopkins and the Haltom City Fire/Rescue Department, I would like to acknowledge everyone involved and thank you for your actions. Your willingness to train and compassion to help someone in need saved a life that day.
Battalion Chief James “Hoss” White - Haltom City Fire/Rescue Department