By: Henrico County Government
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday (May 23, 2018) recognized 20 career and volunteer emergency personnel for their efforts that helped save the lives of two individuals, including an employee of the Department of Public Works.
On April 13, Medic Unit 15 from the Lakeside Volunteer Rescue Squad was dispatched to Oakview Avenue, where a Public Works dump truck had crashed into a tree. James Watkins, the driver, was trapped in the vehicle’s crushed cab. With support from the Henrico County Division of Fire, Henrico County Police, Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad, Virginia State Police and Broyles Auto & Wrecker Service, crews extricated the driver and rushed him by Med-Flight to VCU Medical Center. He survived emergency surgery but lost part of his left leg due to injuries from the accident.
The next morning, off-duty firefighter Gabriel Justice and his wife, Courtney, a volunteer with Lakeside rescue, had just finished the Monument Avenue 10K race when they saw on-duty squad members performing CPR on someone who had collapsed. The couple joined in providing care. Gabriel Justice eventually drove the ambulance to the hospital, while Courtney and other squad members tended to the patient, who was resuscitated and has recovered.
County Manager John A. Vithoulkas praised the response to both incidents as shining examples of Henrico’s EMS volunteers working alongside its full-time firefighters. “We know these volunteers and career firefighters are all professionals, regardless of pay, and we know they make daily contributions that improve and sustain the quality of life in Henrico County,” he said.