Metro Atlanta Ambulance Paramedic Rich Palmer Awarded the 2005 Cobb Chamber of Commerce Award of Merit

On May 8, 2004, Paramedic Rich Palmer responded to the scene of a severe motor vehicle accident where two vehicles crashed head on at Bell Ferry Road and Hawkins Store Road. Upon arrival Paramedic Palmer found an 8-year-old female child lying in the floorboard in the rear of one of the cars. The child was unconscious, unresponsive and suffered massive facial trauma and facial shifting. He quickly assessed the driver of the vehicle and determined she was deceased. He had another visibly shaken small child in the back seat, shaken but unharmed. The young girl's facial bones were shattered, her breathing was severely compromised and she was loosing a lot of blood. The facial trauma was such that normal airway procedures to restore her breathing were not an option. Palmer made a quick decision to rapidly load the patient for transport to the Emergency Department. While enroute to the E.D. the young girls condition deteriorated into full cardiac arrest most likely due to hypoxia and severe loss of blood. Paramedic Palmer along with members of the Cobb County Fire Department quickly began CPR, infused her with IV fluids and began delivering oxygen via mechanical devices to raise the oxygenation to Savannah's brain. Savannah's vital signs and heartbeat returned and her oxygenation increased from a dismal 60% to 90% by the time the ambulance arrived at the Emergency Department. Once further stabilized at WellStar Kennestone, the young child was airlifted to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for immediate surgery.
The young girl and her baby sister were traveling with grandmother when a vehicle in an opposite lane lost control and crashed into their vehicle head on. The Grandmother and the other driver was killed instantly upon impact but due to the professionalism, skills and fast decisions made by Paramedic Rich Palmer, a young girl named Savannah has made a full recovery and has returned to live a normal and active life of a 9 year old.

Attending to children, especially those with traumatic injuries but more so, one in cardiac arrest test the skills, patients and confidence of the best medics. Rich is quick to give credit to his partner and the other rescuers with Cobb County Fire Department that responded, however Rich's ability to make split second decisions, stay calm and provide the necessary resuscitative measures and leadership ultimately saved this young girls life.

Congratulations to Rich Palmer and all those that have dedicated their lives to ensure our health and quality of life here in Cobb County. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed and are very much appreciated.

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