Captain Travis Richardson, a Paramedic, has been nominated for a SVFD Lifesaving Medal for his quick actions delivering high-quality CPR while off-duty on October 30, 2017.
Richardson was coaching his son’s junior varsity football game at Central Valley High School (CVHS) when one of the players collapsed on the sideline. The 16-year-old player, Brandon Snider, had just pulled himself out of the game. Richardson and CVHS athletic trainer Jeff Morrison immediately went into action. While a third man called 911, Richardson took off Brandon’s shirt and pads and started chest compressions (CPR). Morrison grabbed the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and administered two sets of shocks to bring Brandon’s heart back into regular cardiac rhythm.
“These three men saved our son’s life, we have no doubt,” said Ryan Snider, Brandon’s father, who noted that immediate, expert chest compressions by Richardson saved Brandon’s cognitive function. “The AED report showed that Brandon’s heart was beating at 264 and then stopped. Cardiologists said Brandon would not be alive today without AED use.”
Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S. Unlike a heart attack, cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat. With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.
Cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if it is treated within the first few minutes. Call 9-1-1 for emergency medical services and then get an AED (if available) and use it as soon as possible. Begin CPR immediately and continue until professional emergency medical services arrive. If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.
“I am an officer with the Spokane Police Department,” Snider explained. “In my 22 years, I have never seen a situation like this and to have them all in the same place at the same time, definitely saved our son’s life.”
SVFD offers free CPR classes. In just over two hours, you can learn CPR and how to use an AED. Classes are taught by SVFD firefighters and paramedics on the second Saturday of each month. Register today!