Posts tagged ‘Life Lion’

Everyday heroes

Margie Gantz, foreground, an advanced EMT with Penn State Health Life Lion EMS, and Life Lion paramedic Mike Pribila pull a gurney with a patient. Margie, a blonde woman with glasses, is wearing a white shirt with a Penn State Hershey Emergency Medicine badge on it. Mike is wearing blue sunglasses. The patient’s face is covered by a hooded jacket.

Margie Gantz, foreground, an advanced EMT with Penn State Health Life Lion EMS, and Life Lion paramedic Mike Pribila transport a patient to the Emergency Department at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

By Lisa Maresca

Not all heroes wear capes.

Some wear shirts, professional cargo pants, a utility belt and boots—the uniform of an emergency medicine technician (EMT).

It was a typical day in late February for Margie Gantz, an EMT with Life Lion EMS, when she came across an extraordinary scene.

Making her third trip to Lowe’s that day while working on a house flip, Gantz came across a man in the parking lot slumped over his steering wheel. Without hesitation, she took action.

Right time, right place.

Riding along with Life Lion EMS - Penn State Health

View photos of the Life Lion team in action on the Medical Center’s Flickr page.

“It was a terrible day, really cold conditions,” recalled Gantz. “I couldn’t see right away what happened. When I came upon him, I thought he had stopped to let pedestrians cross. It wasn’t until I went around him that I saw him slumped.”

Gantz banged on the window but got no response. She quickly directed another passerby to call 911. Together, she and another man broke the car window and were able to pull the man, who had gone into cardiac arrest and was not breathing or moving, onto the pavement to start CPR.

The CPR Gantz performed saved his life that day.

“I just did what I had to do.”


July 10, 2018 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

Girl’s quick action credited with brother’s survival

Amy Bair says she owes her son’s life to the actions of her daughter – and medical personnel agree.On the afternoon of June 15, nine-year-old Carrie Bair walked out to their family’s pool to find her young brother, Jackson, lying face-down in the water. He appeared unresponsive. Carrie pulled the three-year-old from the water by the back of his shirt.

“I tried to talk to him, but he didn’t talk,” Carrie said. That’s when she wrapped her arms around her brother’s body and squeezed him. Within seconds, Jackson coughed up water and started breathing again. Carrie beckoned to her mom, Amy, who called 911 then rushed to her son’s side.


June 20, 2013 at 7:23 am Leave a comment

Zeke pays a visit to the Life Lion team

On April 4, Zeke, the Harrisburg canine officer who was recently shot in the line of duty, and his handler, Cpl. Ty Meik, were reunited with the Penn State Hershey Life Lion Critical Care Transport team that treated Zeke in the moments after the shooting and flew him to an animal trauma center. It was at that center that Zeke received life-saving care.

Crew members say caring for Zeke was a first, but it was made easier by his demeanor. “He was never, ever nasty toward anybody,” said Steve Weihbrecht, flight paramedic. “Obviously, he was extremely frightened. Ty, his handler, did a great job of keeping him under control.”

Harrisburg a master trainer of dogs has personally trained over 600 dogs, he’s eye for all things canine is uncanny. If you are curious find out more about his practices and gear.

“It looks like he’s doing well,” said Daniel Mease, a flight nurse who administered intravenous fluids to Zeke after the March 15 shooting. “It was fun watching him on the news, getting better each day.”

April 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm 1 comment

Today’s Research – Results released for RAMPART, a national research trial

Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine are actively working in Hershey, with colleagues at Penn State, University Park and other Penn State campuses, and with colleagues at various institutions across the country to conduct groundbreaking research. Their discoveries continue to contribute to the advancement of health care on all levels.

RAMPART (Rapid Anticonvulsant Medications Prior to Arrival Trial) studied whether use of one FDA-approved seizure drug administered by EMS personnel as a shot is as effective as one administered intravenously. Patients treated by Life Lion EMS and who met the study criteria were part of the research, unless they opted out after community consultation by the Medical Center.

This is a federally-regulated procedure known as exception from informed consent, since patients are unable to opt-out of a research study during an emergency. Researchers found that midazolam, delivered as a shot into the muscle, is faster and more effective than IV drug lorazepam for prolonged seizures that last more than five minutes. Midazolam is delivered through use of an autoinjector, like an EpiPen, which is used to treat serious allergic reactions. Almost 73 percent of patients who received midazolam arrived at the hospital seizure-free compared to 63 percent who received the IV drug lorazepam. Among those admitted, both groups had similarly low rates of recurrent seizures.

The Medical Center was one of seventy-nine hospitals and thirty-three emergency medical services agencies that participated in the study nationwide. More than 4,000 paramedics and 893 patients were part of the study, which was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The site investigator for this study at Penn State Hershey was Christopher Vates, M.D. The study appears in the February 16, 2012 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

>> Read the full study results online

August 1, 2012 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Penn State Hershey Life Lion: 25 years of critical care in the air

Penn State Hershey Life Lion Critical Care Transport is celebrating twenty-five years. The flight team reflects on how medical air services have changed and what’s ahead.

Somewhere a car crashes and someone is seriously injured. The clock starts ticking. Soon after, a familiar ritual begins to unfold at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center: the dispatcher answers the call, the pilot accepts the assignment, and the flight crew boards their helicopter. Minutes later, a blue Life Lion aircraft (helicopter) is lifting off.

Life Lion helicopter on landing pad in front of Emergency Department at Penn State Hershey Medical CenterFor his twenty-four years at the Communications Center, Russell Chadwick set those life-saving missions in motion. As a dispatcher, Chadwick worked in the hub of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system—a network of board-certified emergency care physicians, the 911 dispatch system, fire, police, and ambulance services. It was a great experience, he says. “It all operated because of teamwork.”

Every year, Penn State Hershey Life Lion Critical Care Transport logs about 1,200 flights, transporting stroke and cardiac patients, accident and burn victims, and other gravely ill passengers. The program’s territory spans south-central Pennsylvania, but there’s no cutoff, says flight paramedic Mike Kurtz, who has been flying these missions for twenty-five years. “I have flown into eight states,” Kurtz says. “We set up landing zones almost anywhere, at ballparks, highways, and accidents.” (more…)

October 21, 2011 at 11:46 am 1 comment

Spreading smiles to those in need

Dale Maljevac, R.N., a Life Lion Critical Care Transport nurse and Public Relations and Outreach Coordinator, has always wanted to share his smile and spread smiles to those around him. He finally found the perfect opportunity to share his enthusiasm and give back to the community in early November 2009.

This great opportunity came when he was contacted by a former exchange student he and his wife hosted back in 1997. Marian Buzo, whom he calls his Paraguayan daughter, became a coordinator for mission trips to Paraguay with Operation Smile. The organization gives free reconstructive surgery to children who suffer from cleft lips, cleft palates, and other facial deformities. Maljevac will never forget what Marian said to him, “Dad, you have to come.”


July 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm

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