5 Monroe firefighters honored with Challenge Coins for ‘above and beyond’ efforts saving man’s life

Members of the Monroe Fire Department received the first Challenge Coins from Atrium Medical Center, part of Premier Health. They were recognized for going 'above and beyond' when they used a treatment technique that may have saved a gunshot victim's life. From left, Ann Brock, trauma outreach coordinator at Atrium, firefighters Joel Coomer, Jacob Zeckser, Todd Lohse, Lt Rusty Rickard and Claire Hardman, trauma program manager at Atrium. They removed their masks for the picture, then put them back on. CONTRIBUTED

caption arrowCaption
Members of the Monroe Fire Department received the first Challenge Coins from Atrium Medical Center, part of Premier Health. They were recognized for going 'above and beyond' when they used a treatment technique that may have saved a gunshot victim's life. From left, Ann Brock, trauma outreach coordinator at Atrium, firefighters Joel Coomer, Jacob Zeckser, Todd Lohse, Lt Rusty Rickard and Claire Hardman, trauma program manager at Atrium. They removed their masks for the picture, then put them back on. CONTRIBUTED

‘Aggressive treatment’ given to gunshot victim made helping patient at hospital easier

Five members of the Monroe Fire Department were honored this week for going “above and beyond” their normal emergency duties when they used an “aggressive” treatment to potentially save a man’s life.

Officials from Atrium Medical Center, part of Premier Health, presented the firefighters/paramedics Challenge Coins, a first-year program. The firefighters were the first to receive the coins from the health network that includes five hospitals.

Ann Brock, trauma outreach coordinator at Atrium, and Claire Hardman, trauma program manager at Atrium, presented Challenge Coins to Monroe Fire Department’s Lt. Rusty Rickard, Joel Coomer, Ben Lause, Todd Lohse and Jacob Zeckser during a ceremony this week at the fire station.

On Dec. 1, 2021, they were dispatched to the 3000 block of Apple Knoll Lane on a report of a gunshot wound victim. A 64-year-old man had been shot, according to the Monroe Police Department.

Those on the medic run quickly administered tranexamic acid, a medication used to treat or prevent excessive blood loss from major trauma on a patient. The treatment allowed Atrium’s trauma team to stabilize the patient and get him to the operating room for further stabilization and transfer him to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, said Hardman.

David Leverage, Monroe’s assistant fire chief, said Dr. Jill Aston, medical director of Atrium’s emergency department, has approved the use of tranexamic acid, a “more aggressive” treatment, and that helped lead to a positive outcome for the gunshot victim.

Rich Morrett, EMS coordinator at Atrium, said the treatment was “one big factor” in the man surviving the gunshot wound. The shooting remains under investigation by Monroe police, according to the report.

caption arrowCaption
Members of the Monroe Fire Department received Challenge Coins from Atrium Medical Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Members of the Monroe Fire Department received Challenge Coins from Atrium Medical Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO

caption arrowCaption
Members of the Monroe Fire Department received Challenge Coins from Atrium Medical Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Leverage said no one works in public safety for the awards, but it’s “nice when someone from the outside recognizes what we do.”

Morrett agreed. “That’s our job to save people. And they did it well through training and education.”

About the Author