Friday, May 21, 2021 San Juan Regional Medical Center EMS Presents Code Blue Award to San Juan College

From Left: Diane Meyer, Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass, Kenny Hibner, Greg McCarty, Jeff Bourgeois, and Eric Christensen stand outside San Juan College’s Bookstore with the Code Blue awards 

As we celebrate National EMS Week and recognize the important work our EMS practitioners do caring for our community, San Juan Regional Medical Center is proud to present a Code Blue award to San Juan College. 

Code Blue awards are handed out to our EMS first responders and community partners whose treatment restarted a patient’s heart during a cardiac arrest. In these cases, the patient was by all accounts deceased and was brought back to life through the pre-hospital care they received. These patients were then treated in the hospital and able to leave neurologically intact with another chance to live their lives.

In the case San Juan College’s Department of Public Safety and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program was recognized for, a gentleman suffered a cardiac arrest while waiting for his granddaughter and collapsed just outside the college bookstore. The Chain of Survival was immediately implemented. Bookstore employees quickly called 911 and security officers arrived on the scene shortly after with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and began CPR. One of the college’s EMS instructors heard the 911 call over the scanner and Diane Meyer, EMS Director, and Greg McCarty, Paramedic Educator and SJRMC Paramedic, went to offer their assistance and took over CPR. They deployed the AED but defibrillation was not needed. By the time the ambulance arrived to take the patient to the hospital, he had regained a pulse. He survived and is back to being an active member of the community.

“This is how we like to see it,” SJRMC EMS Manager Eric Christensen said. “The first responders completed the Chain of Survival exactly. We are honored to recognize the quick action, critical thinking and selfless acts that result in a life saved.”    

“What a resource for our community to have the training programs the college offers. San Juan Regional Medical Center and our entire community is blessed to have these programs in place at San Juan College,” said San Juan Regional Medical Center President and CEO Jeff Bourgeois.

“We truly appreciate San Juan Regional Medical Center for the care they provide to our community, as well as their partnership in providing learning and employment opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass, President of San Juan College. 

According to the American Red Cross, for each minute that defibrillation is delayed, the odds of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest are reduced by approximately 10 percent. So, having access to an AED and knowing how to use one is critical and can be the difference between life and death. San Juan Regional Medical Center and San Juan College encourage our community members to know where the closest AEDs are. This interactive map has a list of AEDs in San Juan County: Please share the locations of AEDs in your area by emailing and help us save lives in our community.

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