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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -
Lee Ann Wiggington, a Shoals Ambulance paramedic, was recently honored with the Star of Life Award from the American Ambulance Association.
This annual award recognizes outstanding EMS professionals from across the nation who have provided lifesaving care.
In September 2013 in Florence, a son called 911 when his elderly father was not responsive. Wiggington, who was first on the scene, was able to save his life, thanks to her quick assessment, immediate action, and teamwork with the Florence-Lauderdale E-911 Center, Florence Fire Department and doctors at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital.
Authorities said the father and son were going to the hospital when the father lost consciousness. Wiggington and her partner, Jennifer Hale, heard the 911 call through dispatch. After arriving, Wiggington helped the son get his father out of the truck and onto a flat surface. When no pulse was registered, she immediately began CPR.
"Wiggington's quick action in beginning CPR and using the heart monitoring technology saved a man's life," said Shoals Ambulance President and CEO Bryan Gibson. "Patients who experience full cardiac arrest rely on immediate intervention for a positive outcome."
After attaching a LIFEPAK 12-Lead cardiac monitoring device to the patient, Wiggington determined he had entered ventricular fibrillation. She issued a shock from the LIFEPAK device to restart the heart, but there was no change.
Wiggington continued CPR, and Florence firefighters helped put the patient in the ambulance. After reassessing and administering a second electrical therapy, she registered a pulse.
The patient was in the emergency department at ECM Hospital within a mere 10 minutes of the ambulance crew arriving at the scene. At the hospital, Wiggington reported the cardiac trauma and that the patient was now experiencing regular sinus rhythm and lowered blood pressure.
Wiggington received her award in Washington, D.C. and met with Alabama senators and congressmen to discuss EMS legislation and issues.