"The life you save may be your own."
That is the title of a 1955 short story by Irish author Flannery O'Connor, a story rich in irony.
And today the same type of irony could apply to anyone in Molalla, if an AED in the hands of a Molalla EMT is the same AED you help purchase for the Molalla Fire District.
The AED for MFD fund
The Molalla Pioneer is asking help from the community to raise enough money to buy an AED (Automated External Defibrillator for the Molalla Fire District.
Over the next five weeks, the Pioneer will share information with our readers about the value of having accessible AED machines and the impact it can have on lives.
Contributions to the fund may be made at the Molalla Columbia Bank to the "AEDs Save Lives" fund.
The MFD does have AEDs on hand now, but one more AED would be a good thing to have.
For more information about the fundraiser, or ideas on how we can raise the $1,300 needed for an AED, please call Pioneer Editor Peggy Savage at 503-829-2301.
In the next few issues, starting today, we will present a story that shows how an AED can impact your life.
Here's how it impacted the life of a man at an event near Molalla a couple of years ago:
It was late September 2014 when the Pacific Logging Congress, Live in the Woods Show, was underway at Molalla's Port Blakely Tree Farms.
This was an event that offered students, educators and the public a chance to participate in hands-on activities with ties to science, technology, engineering and math education. It also gave professionals in the logging community a chance to see the newest in state-of-the-art machines and a chance for networking opportunities. It brought the biggest names in heavy equipment together to network with displays of innovative tree harvesting technology, and it is why Pape Machinery, Caterpillar, and NGU Logging were up in the Molalla woods that busy fall day.
A local man, 53 year-old Tim Ellis, was there representing Pape Machinery when he started to feel light-headed. Without warning, Ellis went into cardiac arrest. Witnessing the medical emergency, Mike Joyner and Mark Weigle of Caterpillar, Inc., both with training in CPR, immediately began performing chest compressions. Also on scene was Mike Phillips, vice-president of NGU Logging, who happens to be a volunteer firefighter with Gold Beach Fire Dept. He took over the CPR lead. Despite their efforts, however, Ellis' heart stopped pumping.
Just in time, Steve Miller, one of Molalla Fire District's EMTs, brought an AED (automated external defibrillator) and used it on Ellis. The AED shocked Ellis and brought him back to life. Miller was at the event volunteering on his day off as an EMT for stand-by first aid.
"It all came together perfectly," Miller said. "Each one stepped up and responded according to their training. The CPR kept the blood and oxygen flowing and prevented brain damage. The AED shock brought him back to life, and the paramedics got him stable enough for transport."
Molalla Fire Chief Vince Stafford said that even though the patient had no vital signs, had stopped breathing and his heart had stopped beating, with the quick treatment he received, and the use of the AED, Ellis was beginning to talk to paramedics while they were treating him and that the whole system worked perfectly. After the AED was applied and he was shocked back, Ellis was responding to directions.
Steve Miller was later honored with the Molalla Fire Department's Life Saving Award and was presented with the Lifesaving Medal to wear as part of his dress uniform.
Joyner, Weigle and Philips were awarded the Citizen Heroism Award for their part in the life saving incident.
"I am so thankful for these guys. I can't say thank you enough. What I can do is promise to pay it forward," Ellis said.