Successful lifesaving efforts rewarded

Linda Trest
Staff Writer

On April 18, several members of the Gerald EMS community were honored for saving the life of a local man last year. 

When Rick Hollandsworth, 63, arrived for work one morning last June, he had no idea how close he would come to death that day. 

Hollandsworth began feeling sick and had chest pains as he headed into work at Bull Moose Tube, Co., in Gerald. 

Co-workers Randy Pence, Andrew Schoenekase, Mark Scheel, Dan Rose and Birge Robinson quickly came to his aid. They knew Hollandsworth had a history of heart problems and was scheduled for heart surgery in just two weeks. 

As Hollandsworth lost consciousness Robinson dialed 911, while Schoenekase ran to get the AED unit which was used to shock Hollandsworth’s heart. 

By this time, an EMS crew — Paramedic Jordan Acre and EMT Anthony Milanowski — had arrived on the scene. Acre took over doing high quality CPR while Milanowski ran for more equipment. They also called for more help. A Lucas CPR machine was attached to the patient along with a cardiac monitor. The monitor showed asystole, commonly known as a flat line. 

The second EMS crew— paramedics Ray Clements and Diane Meyer arrived to get Hollandsworth on the stretcher and in the ambulance less than 10 minutes after arriving on scene. Meyer drove while Acre and Milanowski treated the patient en route.

Soon, they found a normal heart rhythm and a pulse. Post-resuscitation care was then begun. A patient report was called in to Mercy Hospital Washington where staff were awaiting their arrival. 

Hollandsworth was wheeled into the hospital just 27 minutes after leaving the scene 27 miles away. 

After a many-day stay in intensive care, Hollandsworth was released. Today, he is alive and well. 

Meyer says without the quick action of his fellow employees, including the use of the defibrillator, Hollandsworth may not have been so lucky.