Monday morning radio saved
A Mt. Crested Butte man owes his life to the quick actions of Good Samaritans and a Mt. Crested Butte officer, along with the presence of a special medical device designed to save heart attack victims.
According to EMS coordinator Ross Orton, Mt. Crested Butte resident Craig McManus, 58, was driving in Riverland on Saturday, February 9 at approximately 10 a.m. when he began having chest problems.
McManus is a well known de-jay on local community radio station, KBUT, as well as a bus driver.
McManus drove into the parking lot at Alpine Express and began honking his car horn. Realizing McManus was likely having a heart attack, Alpine Express employees immediately pulled McManus from his vehicle and started administering CPR.
Mt. Crested Butte police chief Hank Smith says officer Jeff Ewert and Crested Butte Marshal Jack Crumpton arrived on the scene with an automated external defibrillator device, which was in Ewert’s patrol vehicle, and Ewert hooked McManus up. The device is designed to detect a person’s heart rhythm, recognize if the heart needs a shock, and gives the rescuers’ instruction on how to proceed.
“Jeff ended up shocking Craig once,” Smith says. “It enabled Craig to have oxygenated blood to his brain until the ambulance got there.”
McManus was taken by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction and was listed in good condition on Tuesday.
Orton, who says McManus gave him permission to speak about the incident, says McManus is in good spirits. “He sounded happy, cracking jokes,” he says. “It was good to hear him.”
The incident marks the first life saving incident using an automated external defibrillator device in the Crested Butte area, Orton says, and notes the response went very well. “Everyone out there contributed to this,” he says. Two EMS workers Chris Evans and Alister Bland, along with fire chief Ric Ems, came to the scene where they were able to give Mcmanus his second heart-starting shock, along with advanced cardiac drugs.
Smith commends those on scene and his officer for his quick action. “Jeff did a great job and he did everything he should have–it was a lifesaver,” he says.
Smith says the Mt. Crested Butte Police Department has three automated external defibrillator devices in its police vehicles and he’s investigating getting funding to buy four or five additional units, based on this experience. “We’re going to try to get one for every car,” he says.
The Marshal’s Office has three defibrillators in their office, which officers check out as they come on duty and store in their vehicles.
Orton says the lesson in this story is that citizens should take a CPR class. “Everyone involved were literally lifesavers,” he says.