Cardiac arrest survivor meets EMTs, paramedics and first responders who saved her life

Pictured left to right:  Cindy Garrett (Patient), Paramedic Denise Anderson, EMT Ethan Brooks, Medic Student Miranda Jansen, FFD Bob Duhamell, FFD Dennis Bordenkecher, FPD Stave Stalets.  Not Pictured: FPD Jesse Brown and  FFD Andrew Tames.

Exactly one year ago, Cindy Garrett was at work as a masseuse when she experienced a ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and entered into sudden cardiac arrest. A STEMI is the most serious type of heart attack requiring nearly immediate emergency invention. A coordinated response by Seals Ambulance EMS personnel, Franklin Fire Department first responders, Franklin Police Department and the hospital emergency department combined for a positive outcome for Garrett, who is able to return to thank the first responders who saved her life.

On Monday, April 11, 2022, Garrett and each member of the response team received a Cardiac Life Save Award at the Franklin Fire Department Station 22. Events like this one are mutually rewarding as they provide the opportunity for the patient to meet and thank those involved in saving their life and for the response team to see the concrete results of their efforts, which often is not known after delivering the patient to a hospital.

On that day in April 2021 when Garrett experienced cardiac arrest, Franklin Police Department officers were first on the scene and began performing CPR within three minutes of the arrest after coworkers dialed 911. According to the American Heart Association, effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

Minutes later, Seals Ambulance and the Franklin Fire Department arrived. Seals Ambulance Paramedic Denise Anderson took over CPR assisted by Seals Ambulance EMT Ethan Brooks and Seals Ambulance Paramedic student Miranda Jansen, as well as Franklin Fire Department first responders Andrew Tames, Dennis Bordenkecher and Bob Duhamell. The response team proceeded to issue a shock with a defibrillator on-scene and were able to achieve a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), meaning the heart was beating in a regular rhythm providing blood flow throughout the body.

As Garrett was transported by Seals Ambulance, she became more alert. The hospital catheterization lab was prepared for her arrival, and she was receiving intervention within 50 minutes from the time of her cardiac arrest.

Garrett’s story exemplifies the importance of teamwork among community responses and the quality of emergency care provided in the City of Franklin.

Pictured left to right:  EMT Ethan Brooks, Medic Student Miranda Jansen, Cindy Garrett (Patient), Paramedic Denise Anderson