A DeKalb EMS paramedic is being hailed a hero after saving the life of a Lieutenant of the Tennessee Highway Patrol who suffered a heart attack during an outing on Center Hill Lake last Friday, June 20. Both the paramedic, Tyler Grandstaff and THP Lieutenant David Allred were off duty at the time.
Allred and his family had just set up camp at Floating Mill Recreation area when he felt faint and then collapsed.
Fortunately, Grandstaff , who was with his family closeby at the same time, came to his aide. "We were at the lake at Floating Mill and we had a man exhibiting signs of chest pain and diaphoresis (profuse sweating). He was pale, grayish and didn't look well. I went to the truck and got my bag and my oxygen tank and did what we normally do. He was conscious but not alert and very disoriented. I started an IV and gave him some oxygen and fluids. Gladly an ambulance got there pretty quick," said Grandstaff.
"We had got there at the campground and probably had been there for an hour and a half," said Allred. "We had just got the camp and everything all set up. I walked over to my brother's camper. I told my wife that I feel like I'm fixing to pass out. I did. At no time did I have any pain until after the second or third time I went down, then the pain really started. After that I could hear everything going on. I remember when Tyler ran up and I heard him say he was going to get his bag. I could feel everything going on. I could feel what he did to my arm and when he stuck the IV in and although I couldn't communicate, I could understand everything everybody was saying," said Allred.
DeKalb EMS was notified and quickly arrived on the scene. Grandstaff accompanied Paramedic Tim Briggs and EMT Becky Atnip in transporting Allred by ambulance to Cookeville Regional Medical Center.
One week after the attack, Allred is out of the hospital and feeling much better, although he is not yet back to work. "It was a massive heart attack. I go back for an update with the doctor on July 21st and he will re-evaluate everything and see what we're going to do. I still have two more blockages. Hopefully after we get those taken care of I'll return to work," said Allred.
Had it not been for Grandstaff and others, Allred said he might not have survived. "As far as Tyler and the other Paramedic and EMT persons, that's what saved me. As far as Cookeville Hospital, they also did a great job. The dispatchers here did a great job. Everybody did their job that day or I wouldn't be here today. Thankfully Tyler was there that day or I don't think I'd be here," said Allred.
"I am glad I was there to help him out," said Grandstaff.
As a show of appreciation, DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale Friday presented Grandstaff with a certificate for "Outstanding Service". Allred and members of his family were also on hand for the occasion at the headquarters of the Central Dispatch/911 Center in Smithville.
The certificate states as follows:
"DeKalb County Emergency Services Outstanding Service Award is hereby granted to Tyler Grandstaff for your outstanding instinct and actions on June 20, 2014. Your actions undoubtedly contributed to a positive outcome. We sincerely appreciate your dedication to DeKalb EMS. DeKalb County Emergency Services. Awarded June 27, 2014. Signed by Hoyte Hale, EMS Director".
Director Hale said he is also proud of Briggs and Atnip for the work they did on the Allred call and for the professionalism of his entire staff. " Tim and Becky was the crew that transported him (Allred) to Cookeville and they did a great job too! I'm glad we have crews and staff who are dedicated to their job," he said.