Strasburg, Va. (July 17, 2012) – Members from a 20-person Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildland firefighting crew saved the life of an unresponsive motorist on July 3 while on a 14-day assignment in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in northwestern Virginia.
“The heroic actions of this group in rendering emergency medical assistance aid and fighting this wildland fire are highly commendable,” said Steven W. Koehn, DNR Forestry Unit Director.
While the team was returning back to their base camp following a full day of firefighting, they came across a non-responsive woman lying on the road near the smoking car. The crew’s paramedics and emergency medical technicians administered medication to restore her breathing while other members extinguished the vehicle fire, provided traffic control and scene security. The woman was later transported by ambulance to the local hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Fire supervisors hailed the crew members as heroes at the firefighting briefing the following morning.
“According to the information we received from the local hospital emergency room following the incident, the woman would not have lived without the emergency medical assistance the crew provided,” said Mark Beals, DNR Forest Service Crew Boss.
The men that rendered the emergency medical care are listed below:
- Eric F. Peterson, Paramedic, Anne Arundel Co. Fire Dept.; from Lusby, Calvert Co.
- Stephen E. Stanton, Paramedic, Anne Arundel Co. Fire Dept.; from Deale, Anne Arundel Co.
- Sergio O. Castillo, EMT-B, Capt. Girdle Tree VFC; Pocomoke City EMS, Snow Hill, Worchester Co.
- Mark M. Miller, EMT-B, Ass’t Chief, West Friendship VFD; from Sykesville, Carroll Co.
- Keith E. Golden, EMT-B, Lieutenant, Kensington VFD; from Glenmont, Montgomery Co.
Following the roadside emergency incident, the men continued to fight wildfires in the steep and rugged landscape of George Washington and Jefferson National Forests for 10 additional days in oppressive heat.
DNR Forest Service, under agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, has provided specially trained wildland firefighting personnel and equipment to assist with wildfires throughout the United States since 1974. DNR Forest Service staff has been busy this summer supporting the Nation’s wildland firefighting efforts, sending crews to Colorado, Virginia and Missouri.
(Our foresters have made us feel proud of their service. Through their selfless actions they saved a life just as our NRP and Coast Guard members do on a regular basis. The Drum Point Flotilla extends a rousing BRAVO ZULU to the Foresters that also represent some of our local fire fighting agencies. It’s a proud day in Maryland knowing that fire fighters like these are protecting us day in and day out.)