Blenheim-Gilboa Response Team Saves Contract Employee’s Life
Using Emergency Medical Equipment
October 9, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GILBOA—The preparedness and quick response of a New York Power Authority (NYPA)
emergency response team at the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Project,
involving the use of a portable device to administer electrical shock to the
heart, meant the difference between life and death last week for a contract
employee who went into cardiac arrest.
After reporting to work on Oct. 3, Jeff Moore, 51, an
out-of-state electrician employed by Day and Zimmer NPS Inc. of Lancaster,
PA., experienced chest pain, shortness of breath and other symptoms that led
his supervisor to seek immediate assistance.
“Within only minutes, members of our first response team were by Jeff’s side
in the powerhouse building to evaluate and monitor his condition, and
provide whatever assistance we could,” said Dennis Richards, Blenheim-Gilboa
safety, health and fire protection administrator. “We gave him oxygen to
help with his breathing and moved him, via stretcher, to an easily
accessible place in the building for when an ambulance dispatched by
Schoharie County 911 arrived.”
However, Moore went into cardiac arrest, and the Blenheim-Gilboa response
team was unable to find a pulse. At that point, the team members, who
regularly simulate such emergencies during drills, used a device
called an automated external defibrillator (AED).
About the size of a laptop computer, the AED analyzes the heart’s rhythm for
abnormalities and, if necessary, directs its operator to deliver an
electrical shock to a person in cardiac arrest through pads attached to the
chest. The shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to re-establish
an effective rhythm of its own.
“After administering the first shock, the machine re-analyzed and indicated
‘a no shock advised’ message followed by a ‘check pulse’ indication,” said
Karen Hinkley, an administrative secretary and one of the response team
members at the scene who is certified as an emergency-medical technician.
“After determining Jeff had a pulse and was breathing, supplemental oxygen
was continued and he slowly regained consciousness.”
Meanwhile, the Power Authority response team remained in phone contact with
the Middleburgh Emergency Volunteer Ambulance Corp. (MEVAC). Upon arriving,
the MEVAC transported Moore to Bassett Healthcare in Cobleskill. He was
later transferred to the cardiac care unit at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany
for further evaluation and treatment.
A resident of Columbus, Ohio, Moore was released from the hospital this
He had only started working at Blenheim-Gilboa last
week in connection with modifications being undertaken by Day and Zimmer NPS
to the project’s public address system.
“We’re all extremely proud of the how B-G’s response team members reacted to
this medical emergency,” said NYPA President and CEO Eugene W. Zeltmann.
“If it weren’t for their timely response and know-how in operating the
defibrillator, the outcome might have been a different one.”
“They simply knew what to do, and exhibited the professionalism and
composure that you need in an emergency situation,” said James McCarthy,
NYPA regional manager, Central New York.
Over the past few years, the Power Authority has purchased about 50 AEDs for
Blenheim-Gilboa and other NYPA facilities and offices around the state, with
each unit costing approximately $2,500. The acquisition of the devices and
training to operate them are part of the Power Authority’s overall
preparedness for medical emergencies. Staff members are also trained
in CPR and first aid.