Tragedy avoided: First responders save child’s life

Boy doing much better after being caught in the car window, St. George, Utah, August 2013 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Emergency responders saved the life of a 5-year-old boy whose neck become stuck in a in a rear passenger window of a car earlier this week

Boy recovering in the hospital after being caught in the car window, St. George, Utah, August 2013 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News
Boy recovering in the hospital after being caught in the car window, St. George, Utah, August 2013 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

According to a statement from the St. George Police Department, while in the area of Coral Desert Rehab, 1490 East Foremaster Dr., the boy stuck his head out of the window and in doing so, stood or knelt on the window switch, causing the window to rise and close on his neck.

The boy’s throat was completely constricted by the window,” the police said. “He stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest.”

The adults in the car tried to release the boy from the window but the electronic switch was malfunctioning and would not allow the window to go down. A call was made to 911 and St. George Police officers and Gold Cross paramedics responded.

An officer broke the car window, releasing the boy, and began life saving measures with the aid of another officer. Both officers and paramedics at the scene were able to reestablish a pulse. The boy was then transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center is critical condition.

The boy’s condition continued to improve, yet remained in critical condition. He was ultimately taken by Life Flight to Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City where he has continued to improve and has now begun to breathe without assistance.

By Tuesday, Aug. 27, the boy had made significant progress and is expected to make a full recovery.

Boy doing much better after being caught in the car window, St. George, Utah, August 2013 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News
Boy doing much better after being caught in the car window, St. George, Utah, August 2013 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

The swift response of the St George Police Department and Gold Cross Paramedics likely saved this boy’s life,” the Police Department said in a statement given today. “The family wished to express their gratitude to the St George Police Department, Gold Cross Ambulance, Dixie Regional Medical Center, Life Flight, and Primary Children’s Medical Center for their efforts and response to help avoid a tragic ending to this incident.”

The boy’s name is not being released.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Boy doing much better after being caught in the car window, St. George, Utah, August 2013 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News
Boy doing much better after being caught in the car window, St. George, Utah, August 2013 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

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22 Comments

  • Tinker Toys August 31, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Good job SGPD.

  • Ron August 31, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Couldn’t the parents have broken out the window? Hope the little guy will be ok!!

    • San September 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      That was my first thought…says something about priorities, doesn’t it? Can you imagine the conversation??? “Well, let’s just see if the police can come and get it to work…he’s not turning too blue yet…well, yeah, go ahead and break the window if you have to do to that way…”. I’d have been accused of breaking it too soon. Good heck people!

  • William Way August 31, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Should this story have included that the medic that showed up got fired by GC shortly after his quick response? Afterall, it was his skill and accomplishment that contributed to saving the child’s life, not the corporation he works for.

  • Craig September 1, 2013 at 6:25 am

    IF they were watching him to begin with this would NOT have happened. Just sayin’.

  • steve September 1, 2013 at 8:07 am

    What everyone doesn’t know is that after saving the boys life the Gold Cross employee was FIRED! Their reasoning was that the he responded to fast. correct me if Im wrong but didn’t Gold Cross muscle their way into St. George and put a local business(Dixie Ambulance) out on the street, as well as 60+ highly qualified and well trained emergency medical providers, on the basis that they were to slow to respond?!

  • Pamala Englert September 1, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Words from the piece I place the link to here now: Said Cassius: “Men at some time are masters of their fates:
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.“
    .
    The challenges for St. George ought not be left to to underlings propped up by political ambition. For such is not the course of truly ‘honorable’ men.”
    .
    I implore you to wake up citizens of St. George. You are being so led by your emotions; so guided down the wrong path by irresponsible media types, so misinformed, and so manipulated by self-serving politicians and political candidates who do not have your best interests at heart – that you are allowing our community to be in danger. You are completely ignoring what should be your most important concern; our responsibility to be aware of what is necessary now to keep us all safe.
    .
    I am so relieved this precious little boy was saved – please do not miss that part of what I say now. This is truly another example of what has been ignored for the most part by citizens who are choosing to turn away from an issue which needs to be at the forefront of this campaign season. Anybody who knows me well, also knows I have never been outspoken about a political issue in our community, until the facts, through my own research, surrounding the issue of public safety, became clearly apparent to me. I am glad I turned those facts over to the proper investigative and other sources, but I am saddened that our own citizens – the people with the most power to prevent further tragedies, about which they are being kept in the dark, are turning their backs on their responsibility to seek truth.
    .
    Please don’t allow yourself to be a person who falls into the traps being set by Jon Pike and at least one city council candidate, who would have you believe the animal shelter is the primary issue in this election. It is not. Your most important goal should be to seek truth; demand truth from the media (because they know), about what truly occurred in our community, which so greatly affected our public safety. Please force the media to tell you why they are keeping from you the fact that the very person who saved this little boy was terminated from his employment; why they continue keeping from you information concerning deaths that have occurred within our community “because of” the inappropriate actions of Senator Steve Urquhart, Jon Pike and others who are controlling you now. There are so many people who are so worried about the liabilities surrounding this issue, that they are choosing to ‘not care’ as much about doing the “right” thing and they are purposely causing you to be left “in the dark.”
    .
    Please pay attention and be a person who will choose to do the “right” thing. The facts are available to any of us who would care enough to seek them out. Please do not wait for one more death to occur; one more diversion to be created to stir up your emotions so much, that you won’t stop long enough to listen and be guided by your own instincts – one more political misstep which will strip away your ability to think independently and react using logic and truth as your only guides, rather than what some are hoping you do – they are hoping you continue “thinking” with your emotions, as they continue “stirring” them.
    .
    And before anybody will ask or imply – the answer is no, I do not personally know the writer of the opinion piece at this link. Nor am I personal friends of or an associate of anybody affiliated with the “former” ambulance company. I am just a person who knows the truth and will accept any amount of criticism, judgment or vicious words directed at me, in my own responsible efforts to do what is the only “right” thing. Lastly, I am also very grateful for the actions of the SGPD to save this precious life.

    http://wwwjr.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/hidden-agendas/

    • ron September 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      and this has to do with this story how?

      • William Way September 3, 2013 at 1:06 am

        Ron: are you looking for answer or an argument.

  • Anon September 1, 2013 at 11:04 am

    And then the first responder gets fired for doing his job.

  • Bert Cumberstone September 1, 2013 at 11:07 am

    It should be noted that the paramedic was fired for driving too fast to save a little boy. I wonder if the parents of the child would have supported him receiving a ticket for driving too fast. If my child were choking or dying, I would expect the paramedics drive as quickly as safely possible to save my child’s life.

    Shameful act on the part of the management of Gold Cross.

  • Diane Miller September 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I was the one who made the 911 call and a lot of thanks has to go to the man on the phone with me. He helped a lot. The grandmother was trying to keep the window from going up further by putting her arms in by the boys head. The aunt ran into Coral Desert Rehab to get help. Julie and others rushed out. Several people were trying to break the window by using the jack and a tire iron. No rocks big enough were around. It was dangerous to try because each blow would jar the little boy’s head. Scott Lemon was at this scene so fast and immediately broke the window. Another policeman came and the got the child on the ground. They worked very hard trying to get the child to breathe. The ambulance finally got there and the 2nd policeman, I didn’t get his name, yelled, “Bring some oxygen, man!” He didn’t . He ran and picked the child up while the policeman was telling him to watch how he was holding him. Scott jumped in and continued to work on him and got him breathing. The car was still on, but we were afraid that if it had been a malfunction the window would go up instead of down, because the grandmother had tried to put the window down. Several people worked hard to save this little boy. I’m so happy he’s okay, now. It was horrible. Thanks Scott and the other policeman. You saved his life.

  • a little more than annoyed September 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Fired for going too quickly to a scene where a child was dying…….unbelievable.
    —————————–
    You can’t argue with results. Everyone would have been on Gold Cross’ rear if it was discovered the driver didn’t go fast enough (or only as fast as allowed) and the boy died. Now you have that driver making a command decision in the heat of the moment to get to the scene and rather than be praised for saving seconds, he is fired for liability purposes after failure to mindlessly obey protocol.
    —————————-
    I full-well understand the dangers of operating emergency vehicles with lights and sirens through busy streets, but can’t this guy get an ‘attaboy’ and a ‘make sure you don’t get in any accidents’ or perhaps a write up that disappears in 6 months of good conduct? Where is your humanity Gold Cross? Are you really such a corporate monster that you have to make an example out of a hero? Nothing in a set of protocols should be made to be so inflexible so as to restrict and hinder a first responder’s ability to do his job and save lives. He didn’t get in an accident, so no need to punish him.

  • Diane Miller September 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    That’s not why he was fired!

    • steve September 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Hey Diane, how about you enlighten us as to why he got fired? I know the paramedic in question, in fact I talk with him on a regular basis as well as most all the other EMS professionals in southern Utah and ^^a little more than annoyed^^ is exactly right.

  • William Way September 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    As I understand it a former public safety office or one of the pretend cops that gets to carry a radio is the one that registered the complaint. That is hearsay, so some facts, if anyone has them is in order. As one previous comment said, “you can’t argue with results”.

    What is unfortunate, from a news standpoint, is that the news release is all that was used to write this story. Why was the paramedic not given an opportunity to provide input? His name and phone number were available since last Thursday, and he had been relieved of duty on Tuesday.

  • hyrum ence September 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Pamela,
    Once again the public gets to read your emotion filled diatribes. If the Gold Cross ambulance had struck a child while driving too fast to the scene of the call you would be whining about their recklessness and demanding an investigation. If Gold Cross dismisses an employee for failing to follow procedure while responding to the scene you whine about the city council and other boogie men and allude to political machinations and a lack of truth. You obviously have an agenda.

    If you had even a shred of evidence or even your version of “truth” to support yet another baseless allegation, the Utah Bureau of EMS would gladly investigate any and all complaints you can support. Their website is: http://health.utah.gov/ems/ and their phone number is 800-284-1131.

    I would personally love for you to take appropriate action and forward this information you have to the proper agency because obviously you are more qualified than they are to evaluate ambulance companies, EMS response standards and just about everything else it would appear.

    Hyrum Ence
    St George Resident

    • Pamala Englert September 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      Hyrum,

      Actually, I wouldn’t submit anything to the Utah Bureau of EMS. I’m sure they would gladly investigate, as they are just as corrupt as Steve Urquhart, and just so you and others know, they are included in the state-level, ongoing investigation. You mean after all this time, you still do not realize that Michael Moffitt, President of Gold Cross Ambulance, and a paying legal client of Steve Urquhart’s, is on the board of the Utah Bureau of EMS? Really? You missed that important fact? All you had to do was follow your own link to learn that fact. Corruption does not stop with Michael Moffit. It extends to the top of that chain, with Paul R. Patrick, Deputy Division Director/Bureau Director, Emergency Medical Services and
      Preparedness. He also is included in the ongoing investigation.
      .
      I have no agenda, Hyrum. You merely stating that I do, does not make it so. There are many more people who will know about Gold Cross soon enough – and I assure you, the results will not be a surprise to most of them, and not just in St. George. I did the right thing and provided my information to people within agencies who are using it, and their own gathered facts and evidence, to make a difference. No “baseless allegations,” just facts which will be clearly and intelligently presented to the very people who will ultimately assure that those who should be held accountable for all that has happened, and continues to happen in our community, are in fact held accountable.
      .
      As for “evaluating ambulance companies,” I am quite sure I could have done a much better job than was done by Michael Moffitt himself. My profession for over twenty-five years has been as a business analyst and consultant. Frankly, I am outstanding at what I do, but the fact remains that the evaluation to begin with, was improper, unethical, politically motivated and instigated by the team of Steve Urquhart and Jon Pike – with direct involvement by others who also now seek to minimize their direct liability.
      .
      As for the paramedics; all paramedics, and regardless of the ambulance company for which they work, I have nothing but respect and admiration for what they do. I am against corporate greed and political agendas. I am not against any person who chooses a field or line of work for their genuine desire to save lives and help others.
      .
      If you don’t enjoy reading my “emotion filled diatribes,” then you have a choice to not read them. I invite you to ignore me. And, in case you do respond, you might want to check facts next time. At least review what has been clearly presented in the past. Otherwise, you sound misinformed, uninformed and just generally as your goal is to write words intended to hurt me. I’m sorry if it bothers you that your words do not hurt, nor even insult me. I learned long ago, what truly matters is what I know to be true and genuine about myself. There’s nothing you can say, Hyrum, to make me feel angry and there’s especially no words you could write which would cause me to respond in a similar way as you continue choosing to do.
      .
      And I don’t “demand” anything. I simply write my thoughts, present facts and yes, even occasionally write my feelings. You might want to try that someday, Hyrum. It’s good for our souls, and personally, I’m proud to be a person with “feelings.”

      • William Way September 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        Excellently stated Pamala.

  • William Way September 2, 2013 at 12:05 am

    I’m curious about Hyrum’s commentary. I missed the purpose of the personal attack on Pamala.
    First, a lot of people have the dignity of spelling a person’s name correctly. In fact the old adage in politics is ‘I don’t care what the press says about me as long as they spell my name right.” In actuality Pamala’s comments were well thought out and logical. Just to share a tidbit of information the Webster dictionary defines diatribe as “a bitter and abusive speech or piece of writing”. It certainly appears that Hyrum’s comment fits that description far better than does Pamala’s comment.

    Second, give the investigations commenced by the the Department of Health and at least one State legislator I am not sure just how further one really wants an investigation to proceed.

    Third, I appreciated that Hyrum identified himself as a St. George resident. One would expect such a person with such passion for attacking Pamala to come from a registered voter. According to June 7, 2013 voter registration records from Washington County Hyrum is not registered under the name given here, as a voting resident of St. George. Maybe he registered following June 7, 2013.

    Lastly, I have personally submitted to each member of the Utah State House of Representative just the documentation which Hyrum suggested. I have received several communications from State Legislators in return. And, yes, when a state agency is approached by a lobbyist that is also a sate senator with the ability to influence budget approvals I would conclude that not only Pamala, but most reasonable people would be “more qualified than they are to evaluate ambulance companies”. Maybe that is why about a month ago the Department changed, with the stroke of a pen, those policies…because they were highly questionable and indefensible.

  • anonymous September 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    The other office was McDaniel. He was performing CPR on the boy as he had no pulse Ofc (Sargent?,I think he had big stripes on his sleeves) Lemmon was performing breaths from one of those breath baggy things on the boy. Lemmon and McDaniel actually carried the boy into the ambulance. A family member got in with them. McDaniel got back out. The ambulance left with Lemmon and McDaniel followed in his cop car.

    A while later McDaniel came back and spoke with several people that were still in the parking lot. He spoke with me for a few minutes and I got his name then.

  • CR October 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Wow Diane! (Clap clap clap) for making the 911 call! However, we don’t need your play by play commentary. I’m surprised Gold Cross even made it to the scene in general.. But, paramedics are trained to make the decisions of what is to happen as far as medical treatment goes on the scene of every medical/trauma call so the paramedic going and getting the patient to rush him into the ambulance where there is more privacy plus able to work on the patient without everyone yelling and screaming at him is a common practice that all EMTs and PMs do… So, just because you heard the officer tell the PM what to do doesn’t mean he/she needs to listen go by the officers command. It’s the PMs job to make those decisions and I commend the PM for letting his instincts kick in and do his job….. It’s amazing how people are quick to judge and think they are the ruler of all occupations when in reality, they never had a lick of experience in that particular job setting (referring to bystanders on scene) Hats off to Lemmon and his partner. Lemmon has not only been a PO for years but he himself is a great paramedic.

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