ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - On July 8, 2015, Alachua County Fire Rescue Lieutenant David Torsell received the Paramedic of the Year Award from the Florida Department of Health, Emergency Medical Services Section. This award is given to an individual who has displayed a pattern of exemplary patient care, patient care documentation through quality assurance, public education and training. The award is also marked by an individual who has acted “above and beyond the call of duty” in response to the community he or she serves.
On March 10, 2015, Rescue Lieutenant David Torsell was assigned to ACFR Rescue 3, one of the busiest transport units in the system. After clearing a call, he checked his mobile dispatch computer before returning to station. Lieutenant Torsell noticed a “Chest Pain” call that dispatch was still processing only a few blocks from his current location. Before he could be dispatched, Lieutenant Torsell directed his partner to drive to the location. Upon their arrival, Lieutenant Torsell noticed that the patient had just collapsed in the callers arms. The 56 year old male patient was placed on the transport stretcher and confirmed that he was in cardiac arrest. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) was initiated and the patient was treated with continuous, effective chest compressions, early defibrillation, and successful advanced airway placement.
The caller was able to relay to the crew that the patient had a history of multiple heart attacks. Given this information and the current events, Lieutenant Torsell chose to quickly load and transport the patient to UF Health emergency department, just 2 miles away. Upon their arrival, it was confirmed that the patient had a return of spontaneous circulation. The time from the 911 call to the arrival at the emergency room with a pulse was less than 10 minutes. As a result of the attentiveness and quick actions by Rescue Lieutenant Torsell, the patient was treated in the Cath Lab and eventually discharged from UF Health with no neurological deficits.
Lieutenant Torsell continues to go above and beyond his normal job duties on a regular basis.
For more information, contact Alachua County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Harold Theus at 352-384-3132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.