“Superman? You’ll never be Superman. Because you have no idea what it means to be Superman. It’s not about where you were born. Or what powers you have. Or what you wear on your chest. It’s about what you do… it’s about action.” Infinite Crisis
Fortunately, early yesterday evening there were some Edwards County people who knew what it takes to be Superman. They knew what to do – it was about action.
Here’s their story.
The township worker – we will call him John – had just finished mowing the cemetery grounds. Afterwards, he loaded his mower onto a trailer and was driving away when his truck got stuck in the rain soaked roadway.
John is also a volunteer firefighter and firefighters have buddies – so he called one. After the buddy showed up and the two put forth some hard physical effort they freed the truck. And the buddy left.
Fifteen minutes later the buddy got another call from John. He said he wasn’t feeling too well – he was having chest pain. The buddy called 911 and also called farmer/volunteer EMT Steve Plantz.
When Steve showed up with the rescue truck he found John leaning against the tailgate of his truck. John stood up. He told Steve that he started having pain in his chest and back after pulling on the trailer. And it was still there.
After putting John in the rescue unit to get him out of the heat, and taking a couple sets of vital signs, the ambulance crew radioed that they were five minutes out. Then came the bad news – the ambulance crew radioed back they were stuck.
Another ambulance was dispatched – as well as a helicopter.
Steve and the buddy made another decision. They decided to drive John in the rescue truck over to a nearby fire station on a hard surface roadway. A mile or so down the road John informed Steve that his arms were feeling numb. Then, all of the sudden, John got a blank look on his face and tensed up like he was getting ready to seize. He didn’t seize, but his skin started to turn blue. And he didn’t have a pulse.
Steve knew what to do – apply the AED. It advised action in the form of “SHOCK” – so “SHOCK” he did. Steve then started CPR. After the cycle ending breaths – John took a big inhaled gasp and his eyes opened.
Steve told John, “You went away from us for a while.” To which John asked, “Where did I go?” As Steve explained what happened they arrived at the fire station. And then it all happened again – blank look, blue face, shock, CPR, gasp, eyes open – back again.
Another firefighter was listening to all the radio traffic so he went over and picked up the ambulance crew and their jump bag. And they arrived on scene shortly after John’s second touch with death.
John received another seven shocks while waiting on the Life Team helicopter crew. He was then transported to Dodge City. The last report was that he was awake, but not out of the woods. He had one artery with 100% blockage and another with 70% blockage.
Steve Plantz was Superman. The Buddy was Superman. The Firefighter was Superman. The Ambulance Crew was Superman. The Flight Crew was Superman. The Hospital Care Providers were Superman.
Superman – “It’s about action!”
*Steve Plantz is an Edwards County resident – but he has some Stafford County connections. His EMT instructor was Stafford County Assistant Director Misty Blakeslee. And he regularly attends monthly training with Stafford County, so he’s got two families that think very highly of him.