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Local responders who saved woman kicked by horse receive state EMS award

| May 20, 2022
Seven local first responders received a Star of Life Award for their efforts to save a woman who was kicked in the head by a horse in October of 2019. Pictured from left to right: MedFlight 4 Pilot Herman Valentine and paramedic Michelle Huff; Uhrichsville firefighters/paramedics Curtis McGarry, Nathan Crouse, and Cory Paisley; Smith Ambulance Advanced EMT Charissa Cunningham and Paramedic Jay Fisher. (City of Uhrichsville)

COLUMBUS (WJER) (May 20, 2022) – State EMS officials are honoring a team of local first responders for saving a critically injured woman in October of 2019.

The MedFlight crew, Uhrichsville firefighters, and Smith Ambulance paramedics who kept the 51-year-old alive after she was kicked in the head by a horse received a Star of Life Award during a ceremony in Columbus Wednesday evening. A video played during the event described the team’s life-saving actions after finding the woman confused and struggling to breathe with severe facial swelling and an open-skull injury.

“Oxygen was administered via a bag-valve-mask device and the patient’s neck was stabilized with a C-collar once MedFlight arrived. Despite ventilation with a bag-valve-mask, the patient’s condition began to deteriorate. Attempts were made to intubate the patient, but due to the swelling from her injuries, they were unsuccessful. An emergency attempt to ventilate her after performing a needle cricothyrotomy also proved unsuccessful. The MedFlght crew performed then performed a surgical cricothyrotomy.”

MedFlight’s Michelle Huff performed the procedure that cleared the woman’s airwaves to get her the oxygen she desperately needed, although she says the credit belongs to the entire team.

“If it wasn’t for these guys behind me that knew that they needed us and they knew that needed us now and it wasn’t for my pilot who gets us where we’re going and gets us there fast, the situation would have turned out much, much different.”

The pilot was Herman Valentine. Also involved in the response were Fire Captain Nathan Crouse, firefighters Curtis McGarry and Cory Paisley along with Smith’s Jay Fisher and Charissa Cunningham.

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