Sunday, June 18, 2000

Neighbors help save man's life

Officer uses defibrillator until life squad arrives

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DELHI TOWNSHIP — Sometimes it takes a community.

        Alert and conscientious neighbors, and a quickly responding police officer with a fire department life squad just two minutes behind him, all worked to save the life of a 72-year-old man who suffered cardiac arrest while doing yardwork.

        “Everybody was important,” said Mary Keilholz, the daughter of Ed Thompson, whose life was saved by neighbors and emergency workers last week. Mr. Thompson came home from Christ Hospital on Thursday.

        The police officer, life squad and neighbors were all recognized for their efforts by the township board of trustees last week.

        According to Ms. Keilholz, Mr. Thompson had been working in his yard at about 7:30 p.m. June 8 when he collapsed. A neighbor heard him fall, jumped a fence and yelled for another neighbor to call 911.

        At the same time, another neighbor, Angela Roddy, started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

        Delhi Police Officer Dan Ramstetter took the emergency call and drove to Countryridge Lane. He was carrying an automatic external defibrillator (AED).

        Officer Ramstetter hooked up the pads of the AED to Mr. Thompson's chest and was told by the machine to administer the shock. It worked.

        “We're pretty much saying that without the police officer, without that initial shock, the guy probably wouldn't have made it,” said Shawn Stacy, a spokesman for the Delhi Fire Department.

        The defibrillators have been used the past three years, and the one Officer Ramstetter used is one of six that are carried in patrol cars in the township, said Police Chief Thomas Bauer. This was the first time a defibrillator was credited with saving someone's life. It has come to represent the marriage of teamwork and high technology.

        Ms. Keilholz recounts the teamwork with awe — the neighbor who noticed Mr. Thompson collapse, the neighbors who called 911, Ms. Roddy, Officer Ramstetter, the life squad crew.

        “It was a group effort which paid off,” said Trustee Nicholas LaScalea.


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