EMS team

Pictured from left to right are Dr. Jon Kornegay, medical director for Duplin County EMS; Mark Casey, Duplin County EMS training officer; paramedic Chris Jackson, EMT David Tollefson and shift supervisor Gene Purdee.

KENANSVILLE — Three members of the Duplin County Emergency Medical Services were recognized for their lifesaving efforts.

Paramedic Chris Jackson, EMT David Tollefson, and Shift Supervisor Gene Purdee were awarded the Lifesaver I Commendation on May 17 at the Duplin County Board of Commissioners meeting.

“l am very proud of all of our dedicated EMS providers that serve our communities,” said Mark Casey, Emergency Medical Services during the board meeting as he introduced the three Emergency Medical Services men. “Earlier this year they responded to a call for a patient not breathing. After working on the patient for nearly 20 minutes, the patient’s heart began to beat again on his own.”

Thanks to the quick intervention of the first responders a life was saved. The patient who was successfully resuscitated and transported to a medical center, was able to leave the hospital only days later walking on his own,” said Casey during the board meeting.

‘‘This patient is at home enjoying the company of his family. What this team has achieved here, is what EMS is all about — making a difference in people’s lives in our community.”

The Lifesaver I Commendation is presented for lifesaving actions directly involved in the “successful resuscitation of a patient in cardiac arrest, who is ultimately discharged home with a better quality of life.”

“I’d like to recognize these folks for their hard work and their dedication,” said Dexter Edwards, chairman of the Duplin County Board of Commissioners during the meeting. “I think we take what you guys do a lot for granted. I do appreciate your service. I can’t imagine how much sacrifice you have to give all hours of the night to give us the care that you do — this was a great task that you just accomplished..”

The sentiment was shared among members of the board, who each said a few words of appreciation to the hard work and all the sacrifices of these men not only responding to emergencies at all times of the day and night but also having to leave their families to help others in the community. First respondents work tirelessly every day delivering hope to people in crisis to ensure they receive the best care possible.

Ena Sellers may be reached at esellers@ncweeklies.com