High 5: Payson Fire Department First Responders To The Rescue
PAYSON, Utah – There are a lot of practices and procedures that seem routine to members of the Payson Fire Department.
Emergency medical technicians Jordan Alexander, Jeff Bates and Sam Worley perform daily checks to make sure they’re ready to go on a moment’s notice.
One day last autumn, their shift at the station started normally, but it soon changed when a man showed up at the Mountain View Hospital emergency room. His arm was sliced to the bone after a glass table top shattered.
“If you cut your arm down to the bone, call 911,” Alexander said.
That man, Nestor Gallo, was minutes away from bleeding to death. The Payson Fire Department EMT crew jumped into action.
“We kept trying and trying to stop the bleeding, and it wouldn’t work,” Bates said. “So we decided to put a tourniquet on him because he was bleeding out in our ambulance. We went in lights and sirens.”
From Payson, they set out to find a hospital with an orthopedic surgeon on call, but it was no easy task. Time was of the essence.
The nearest option was Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, but that was a no-go. Fifteen minutes to the north was Timpanogos Regional Hospital, but that didn’t work either.
Just one Wasatch Front traffic nightmare with the perfect storm of bad conditions could cost Gallo his hand. But as they drove past Point of the Mountain, salvation came in the form of St. Marks in Salt Lake City – 56 miles from where they started at Mountain View.
Nestor’s road to recovery takes an interesting twist when you learn he’s actually a transportation engineer. He’s responsible for mapping out smooth travel for the casual commuter and emergency personnel alike.
“I never thought that I was going to be one of the passengers that was going to benefit from that kind of quick access to a medical facility,” Gallo said.
He got to see the Payson Fire Department crew for the first time after his accident five months prior – along with Dan Spindle, who was there to highlight the EMTs with a KSL High 5.
“They’re fantastic,” Payson Fire Chief Scott Spencer said about the team. “They’re always willing to get in and do what it takes to do the job.”
Alexander insists they’re not superheroes, though.
“We were trained what to do, pretty simple,” he said. “We knew bleeding, got to stop the bleeding, tourniquet. That’s about all we did.”
Bates said the EMTs don’t often get to see the end result of their efforts.
“We just try to care for them the best we can on scene and get them to a doctor as soon as possible,” he said.
Gallo said he owes his life to them, though.
“I am completely convinced that I am here, alive, because of the great work of these three gentlemen,” he said. “And I’ll be eternally grateful. In the name of my family and myself, thank you.”
Do you know someone doing good in our community? A friend or family member building up neighbors or a coworker giving selflessly? Click here to nominate them for a KSL High 5.
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