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Full time EMS saving lives— Quick response made a difference for heart victim

EMTs
Medics who responded to late night call at St. Joseph’s Care Center included: (L to R) Sean Hamilton, Capt. Tom Ruskin, Allen Smith, Michele Reinhart, Larry Williams, Charlie Pressler and Chief Rod Bordner. (ALLEN GRESS PHOTO)

by ALLEN GRESS, HERALD CORRESPONDENT

It was supposed to be a routine night shift for Nimishillen Township resident Michele Reinhart. Michele, RN, is a nursing supervisor for St. Joseph’s Care Center and has worked there for 14 years.

“I was returning from a break . . . I must have looked terrible and I told a colleague that I didn’t feel well,” she said. “She, wisely, gave me a couple of aspirin and called 911. That’s all I remember.”

The call came into the Louisville Fire Department at 2:06 A.M. and an EMS unit was dispatched.

“The unit with two medics arrived in six minutes and found the nurse had stopped breathing and was in cardiac arrest,” said Fire Chief Rod Bordner. “The crew immediately notified dispatch for additional assistance and five additional medics responded within minutes.”

CPR was administered and artificial ventilation were conducted as the patient was connected to a heart monitor, then loaded into the ambulance and left for Mercy Hospital, according to Bordner.

“They were able to get Reinhart’s heart going on the way,” he continued. “The unit arrived at Mercy within 31 minutes after receiving the call.”

Michele, 49, had a massive heart attack. There was arterial blockage and she had two stents inserted. In cardiac intensive care, Michele was in coma for 20 days. Following a period of recovery, she is back on the job at St. Joseph’s.

Michele and her husband William met with her saviors at the fire station for a reunion of thanks Wednesday evening. There were lots of hugs for all.

“This is a wonderful outcome to a near fatal situation,” said Bordner. “This is the kind of service that residents of the city can be assured in knowing the Louisville Fire Department has a two-member staff 24 hours a day with more manpower available in minutes. The LFD has 23 trained firefighter-paramedics on staff.

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