• American Legion rewards firefighter

  • Carroll recognized for response to cardiac arrest victim at MAHC.

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  • Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
    Post Commander Gerald Hansen and Adjutant Michael Cole of the Byron H. Mehl American Legion Post 23 in Leavenworth, Kan., presented the local American Legion Firefighter of the Year Award to Joshua Carroll June 2 at Fire Station No. 2 on Fort Leavenworth.
    The local American Legion award follows the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service that Carroll and fellow firefighter Caleb Cribb received March 30. Hansen said the local American Legion Post recognized Carroll during the current nominating cycle and has plans to recognize Cribb during the next cycle, for their collective and individual life-saving actions taken March 28.
    “Firefighters Carroll and Cribb responded to Munson Army Health Center and assisted a patient in cardiac arrest on March 28,” Hansen said. “Upon arrival on the scene, they found a victim who was technically deceased and without a heartbeat. Firefighters Carroll and Cribb revived the patient through their expert skills in administering lifesaving medical techniques.”
    After being presented the award certificate by Hansen, Carroll acknowledged his fellow firefighters and the fire department’s leaders for creating a positive work environment that fosters professional comradery. He said his training allowed him to effectively respond to the emergency situation.
    “We continually train to confront various emergency scenarios. I’m glad we helped the patient,” Carroll said. “I didn’t consciously think about doing what I did. I was following the protocol we train for, given the situation. Any of the firefighters here would have done the same.”
    Cribb echoed Carroll, saying his response was intuitive to the needs of the patient at that time and grounded in the on-going training firefighters receive.
    “We make training a priority and use the time we have available to keep our skills sharp at every opportunity,” Cribb said. “I was doing what was necessary to help the patient.”
    Both firefighters were presented the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service by Garrison Commander Col. Andrew Shoffner. Shoffner expressed appreciation of the existing partnership the post has with the local American Legion and its recognition of a member of Fort Leavenworth Fire and Emergency Services.
    “I appreciate the support and acknowledgment from the local community of our firefighters by the American Legion. It shows a genuine partnership among our communities that’s beyond mere words,” Shoffner said. “Fort Leavenworth sleeps well at night because our highly skilled firefighters are always on duty, and we appreciate each of you in the department for that luxury we enjoy. Your professionalism makes a complicated emergency situation like this one look routine.”
    The individual award citation narratives said Carroll and Cribb immediately began lifesaving efforts by taking over cardiopulmonary resuscitation from the clinic staff and performed artificial respirations until the victim regained a pulse. Shoffner said the firefighters’ training took over and saved the victim’s life.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Assisting with CPR while transporting the patient to Cushing Hospital for further care, Firefighter Carroll then corrected a problem (in the ER) with the intubation tube that threatened the patient’s airway to bring back a pulse,” Shoffner said. “Firefighter Cribb again assisted with CPR when the patient went into cardiac arrest to bring back a pulse once again. Their contributions in saving the life of this patient reflect upon the high quality of their skills and department training program.”
    Carroll’s wife, Marianne, and 1-year-old daughter Gianna also attended the ceremony. She said her husband was living his career choice dream working as a member of the fire department.
    “Joshua is doing what he has always wanted to do with his life by serving others as a firefighter. He is extremely dedicated and works very hard each day,” Marianne Carroll said. “I’m very proud of him, and I stand with him all the way.”
    Chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness, the American Legion is the nation’s largest veterans’ service organization. Additionally, its “Heroes to Hometowns” program connects local Legionnaires with recovering wounded warriors and their families, providing a variety of support activities. The American Legion raises funds to help veterans, their families and to provide college scholarships.
    The American Legion started giving a “National Firefighter of the Year Award” in 2010 to a firefighter who exceeded the requirements expected of his or her position and demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service and professional achievement. The award follows a nomination process that includes departments from around the nation. Its specifications take into account heroic acts, and the award is presented annually at the American Legion’s national convention.
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