To become Employee of the Month in the North Charleston Fire Department, one must be nominated by a superior for exemplary work, selfless actions that directly benefit a resident’s life or the safekeeping of a business, or undertaking additional self-motivated activities to aid in the improvement of the fire department.
The following is Medical Coordinator Dean Hatchell’s nomination submission for Firefighter Robert Howlett:
On January 29, 2016, North Charleston Fire Department units were dispatched to the area of the Mark Clark at International Blvd. for a reported motor vehicle accident. Rescue 207 and Squad 203 responded along with Charleston County EMS Medic 2. On arrival units found off-duty Firefighter Robert Howlett performing CPR on the driver of the vehicle.
Firefighter Howlett was traveling in his personal vehicle when he observed the accident. The driver was on the exit ramp from Mark Clark East to International Blvd. when he appeared to have had a heart attack and became unconscious. His vehicle left the roadway and crashed in a ditch full of water. Firefighter Howlett entered the water that was up to his waist and opened the driver’s door.
He found the driver in cardiac arrest. FF Howlett removed the driver from the vehicle and pulled him up on the ditch bank with the help of a North Charleston Police Officer. He began CPR and preformed compressions on the patient until relieved by members of Rescue 207 and Squad 203 crew.
Charleston County EMS Medic 2 provided advanced life support care while members of Rescue 207 and Squad 203 packaged the patient to be moved up the ditch bank.
Charleston County EMS Medic 2 transported the patient to Trident Centre Pointe Emergency with a member of Squad 203’s crew as a driver. On arrival at Trident, the patient had a pulse back. Trident staff stabilized the patient so he could be transported to Trident Medical Center’s cardiac catheterization lab.
As of Monday, February 1st, the patient was in critical but stable condition, thanks in large part to the assistance provided by Firefighter Robert Howlett.