A few lifesavers among us | NevadaAppeal.com

A few lifesavers among us

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

A worker at Sierra Pacific Power Co.’s Tracy plant in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Park is alive thanks to the quick thinking of his co-workers and their knowledge of how to use an automatic external defibrillator.

An automated external defibrillator is a portable automatic device used to restore normal heart rhythm to patients in cardiac arrest. It automatically analyzes the patient’s heart rhythm and tells the user if a shock is needed and how to administer it.

According to Storey County Fire Battalion Chief Ron Adkins, last month the unidentified man in his 60s suffered a heart attack and a few colleagues went into action.

“They shocked him once, then myself and two others showed up and we worked the guy for about 15 minutes or so to get an airway established,” he said. “Then we shocked him a few times and got the pulse back.”

The man was taken to Renown Medical Center in Reno by Care Flight helicopter, where a doctor told Adkins the patient would pull through.

Adkins said the immediate shock was probably what saved the man.

“AEDs are very important,” Adkins said. “You keep that oxygenated blood going through the brain, that keeps the brain alive long enough for us to get there.”

AEDs are becoming common equipment in companies, airports, schools and offices, he said.

Also attending to the victim was Firefighter/EMT Ryan Whitlock and Firefighter/Paramedic Auggie Arroyo, Adkins said.

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Five area deputies have been given awards by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Laurel Stadler of MADD’s Lyon County office said officers are honored for the number of DUI arrests made, number that led to convictions and efforts for training themselves and educating the public.

In Lyon County, Deputy Dan Lynch, who works in the Fernley area, was honored for his 61 DUI arrests. Stadler said Lynch works the graveyard shift, and has been Lyon’s DUI arrest leader for the past two years.

Lyon County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Wilson was honored for DUI enforcement. Wilson, who covers the Silver Springs and Dayton areas, had 54 DUI arrests.

In Storey County, Deputy Dan Gaunt, in his first year as a deputy, was given the award for his 20 DUI arrests in 2007 as well as for finishing valedictorian of the Drug Recognition Expert training class.

Gaunt said he was very surprised that he won.

“I came on late in the year so I didn’t figure I would get more arrests than other deputies,” he said.

Gaunt, who works in Virginia City and TRIC, began working days and last June switched to the graveyard shift, where he said officers are more alert for DUIs.

“It’s something that happens most on the weekends,” he said. “Some people make poor decisions and they get in their cars and try to drive.”

In Carson City, Deputy Brian Mendoza had the most DUIs in 2007 with 35. Stadler said he also wrote reports that were effective in prosecuting suspects after they were arrested.

Also chosen was Deputy Salvador Acosta, who had 30 DUIs among 795 traffic citations and 1,131 violations, including 120 seat-belt violations. He investigated 58 accidents and has helped with seat belt and child safety seat courses in the community.

Deputy Jarrod Adams received an award for his efforts in preventing underage drinking.

Law Enforcement officers are nominated by their departments and awards are handed out once a year. This is the fourth year awards were given.

Stadler said MADD honored Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Kara Kelly-Borgognone, who was killed in an accident in Reno Feb. 25 as she was responding to a call. Stadler said the award was presented to her husband, Dirk.

Kelly-Borgognone had the most NHP DUI arrests with 117.

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In other deputy news, Storey County Sgt. Jason Dias, who won the 2005 and 2006 MADD award, has been nominated as a “Law Enforcement All-Star” by the TV show “America’s Most Wanted.”

The AMW Web site praises Dias’ efforts in drug enforcement. In addition to the MADD awards, Dias has averaged more than 100 arrests per year overall.

He now serves as Sergeant of Special Investigations in 2007, allowing him to focus more on larger scale arrests. Sgt. Dias is currently attending the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in criminal justice with a focus on substance abuse, helping him to understand and combat this disease.

He is a supporter of drug court, which represents the combined efforts of justice and treatment professionals to actively intervene and break the cycle of substance abuse, addiction and crime.

Contest winners are selected based on the number of votes they receive, and anyone can vote at http://www.amw.com/allstar/2008/nominee_detail.cfm?id=5442 through April 13. Each week a finalist is chosen. Then, from April 17 through May 5, votes will be cast to select which finalist will be named the 2008 AMW All-Star.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or 881-7351.