Lowe’s employees respond quickly to crisis

From left, Camden Lowe’s emergency team members Lisa Alimossy, Danielle Stone, Allan Post, Barry Leeuwen and Mike Ashby were recognized by Kent County Public Safety Chief Colin Faulkner for saving an individual’s life who had gone into full cardiac arrest at their store in September. (Submitted photo)

CAMDEN — Colin Faulkner, public safety chief for Kent County, knows the odds of a positive outcome are not very good when an individual goes into cardiac arrest.

That’s why he was so excited that five associates with the Lowe’s home improvement store in Camden had received the proper training as part of what he called the store’s Emergency Response Team and quickly sprang into action Sept. 10 when a visitor to their store suffered full cardiac arrest.

Some quick thinking and teamwork by the employees were able to save a life after they utilized an automated external defibrillator and began CPR on the customer. After the second shock, the patient had a return of a pulse and attempted to breathe.

The Lowe’s employees involved in the lifesaving procedure were Lisa Alimossy, Danielle Stone, Allan Post, Barry Leeuwen and Mike Ashby, who were each presented medals and a lifesaving award from Mr. Faulkner before a Dec. 15 Kent County Levy Court business meeting. They had previously received an Angel Award from Lowe’s corporate headquarters.

“It’s my pleasure to make these kinds of presentations,” Mr. Faulkner said. “I’d like to say that for this individual, the stars were aligned. Due to careful and thoughtful planning and dedicated and engaged employees of Lowe’s, one individual was stricken with cardiac arrest, and with CPR, along with an AED being employed immediately, they received (a positive outcome).

“I’m confident, and it’s clear, that had Lowe’s not developed their Emergency Response Team, the patient may not have survived without an organized approach to managing these types of emergencies and the chaos that occurs and getting a good outcome.”

Those precious minutes between the time of the event and the arrival of Emergency Medical Service personnel proved crucial in saving the customer’s life.

Mr. Post, one of the employees involved in the lifesaving procedure, laughed and said that Lowe’s did not have an official “Emergency Response Team,” adding that it was just people coming together in a time of crisis trying their best to help out an individual in distress.

“We don’t really have an Emergency Response Team,” Mr. Post said. “Colin (Faulkner) just kind of came up with that at the presentation. I just happened to pull the nearest people together because of my (paramedic) background. I started barking out orders, and people just kind of fell into place and listened.

“It’s great that (the stricken man is) out and he’s doing great — that means more than any award.”

He added that every person involved in the lifesaving procedure played a vital role.

“I was doing the compressions and the ventiliations; Danielle Stone, who is the assistant store manager was doing the AED; Mike Ashby was keeping the lanes clear, along with Berry (Leeuwen), who cut the shirt; and Lisa (Alimossy) was calling 9-1-1 and giving them updates every few seconds about what was going on and where we were in the store,” said Mr. Post. “So everybody who was mentioned in the citation was really a part of something special. I always use the word ‘team’ because that’s what I consider us — a team. With teamwork, you make the dream work, and it’s never a ‘me’ thing.”

Mr. Faulkner added that the Camden-Wyoming Fire Co. Station 41 ambulance and Kent County paramedics responded for the transfer of care and that the patient was treated at Bayhealth Hospital, Dover Campus.

“The patient was eventually discharged without a deficit, which is really amazing for a cardiac arrest,” he said. “We don’t always have that kind of success with those kinds of calls.

“Congratulations to them all for a job well-done. The impact and positive outcome for this is just amazing, that this individual is fully recovered. I wish we could get that outcome all the time.”

Staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at 741-8230 or mfinney@newszap.com.