2024 Save-a-Life Saturday Reunites Rescuers and Survivors

Rescuers and survivors pose together during the Safe-a-Life event.

Each year, Cranberry Township EMS hosts our Save-a-Life Saturday event.  We use this event to share stories of patients who suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and the rescue efforts that led to their survival, stressing the importance of community CPR training.  This year, we celebrated eight amazing resuscitation stories, the highest we’ve ever seen.  Two of the eight survivors attended the event and reunited with the rescuers who provided them a second chance at life.

This event highlights each rescuer’s crucial role in the American Heart Association’s Chain of Survival.  This process starts with family or community members recognizing a sudden cardiac arrest and notifying 911, providing CPR, and deploying an AED.  From there, 911 dispatchers efficiently alert EMS and other first responders, including police officers and firefighters.  EMS then delivers advanced care and transports the patient to a facility for post-cardiac arrest care.

Click to learn more about the Out-of-Hospital Chain of Survival

Across the eight survival stories, the teamwork of 67 rescuers allowed the survivors to beat the odds of a 10% national average survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.  These rescuers included nine family members, nursing staff or bystanders, 14 dispatchers, 13 police officers, two firefighters, and 29 EMS providers.  Each of these groups played an essential role in the Chain of Survival. 

In emergency medicine, rescuers often play a part in which they don’t learn the ending of the patient’s story.  With such a low survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, events like this offer a humbling experience for the rescuers, allowing them to reconnect with the survivors.  These events shine a light on the importance of what rescuers do and give an opportunity for the patients and all of the rescuers to celebrate life together.

Listed below are local responders who received recognition at the event:

Cranberry Township EMS

  • Sheli Baker, EMT
  • Teak Baker, Paramedic
  • Nicole Dambaugh, Paramedic
  • Molly Doman, Crew Chief / Paramedic
  • Lilliana Goris, Paramedic
  • Curt Huffman, EMT
  • Jon Jurysta, Paramedic
  • Jeff Lowry, Paramedic
  • Ryan Mann, Paramedic
  • John Mooney, Paramedic
  • Matt Nickl, Chief / Paramedic
  • Phil Rozic, Paramedic
  • Jim Vardzel, Crew Chief / Paramedic
  • Mitch Wadas, Paramedic

Cranberry Township Police

  • Seargent Mike Marshall
  • Officer Duane Brucker
  • Officer Nathan Hill
  • Officer Victor Korol
  • Officer Eric Meyers
  • Officer Benjamin Miller
  • Officer Christopher Schott
  • Officer Ryan Slack
  • Officer Mike Weleski
  • Officer Robin Winters

Cranberry Township Fire Department

  • Chief Scott Garing
  • Lt. Connor Mack

AHN Advanced Response Unit

  • Abbie Schmidt, PHRN

UPMC Passavant Advanced Response Unit

  • Chris Fessides, Paramedic
  • Chad Kirkpatrick, Paramedic
  • Robert Kratz, Paramedic
  • Alan Martino, PHRN
  • Drew Maynard, Paramedic

Click here to view our upcoming CPR classes.

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