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Monday, December 11, 2023

Local first responders recognized for saving 51-year-old patient’s life

An Ocala police officer and three Marion County first responders were recognized this week after their actions helped save a patient’s life in late August.

At around 6:45 a.m. on August 30, 2023, a 911 caller reported that a 51-year-old man was suffering from cardiac arrest. Ocala Police Department Officer Zach Schueller was the first to arrive on scene, and he immediately began performing CPR on the male patient, according to OPD.

Three members of Marion County Fire Rescue’s Medic 65 unit – Caitlin McClure (paramedic), Chelsea Shippee (EMT), and Bethany Smith (captain) – soon arrived on scene along with several Ocala Fire Rescue units.

MCFR stated that crew members were able to quickly package and transport the patient while they continued to perform medical interventions.

While heading to the hospital, MCFR crews managed to achieve the return of spontaneous circulation, and the patient was intubated and defibrillated upon arrival at HCA Florida Ocala Hospital.

According to MCFR, the patient was taken to the cath lab, and it was discovered that he had “100% blockage.” After receiving the necessary care at the hospital, he was able to return home to his family within a few days.

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MCFR paramedic Caitlin McClure (far left), captain Bethany Smith (second from left), and OPD Officer Zach Schueller (far right) posing for a picture with the patient they helped save (Photo: Marion County Fire Rescue)

During a gathering that was held at the hospital on Monday, MCFR Medic 65’s crew members, OPD Officer Schueller, and medical staff were able to meet the appreciative patient.

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MCFR paramedic Caitlin McClure (left) and captain Bethany Smith (right) holding a certificate they received on Monday in recognition of their lifesaving efforts (Photo: Marion County Fire Rescue)

The crew members from Medic 65 received a certificate of recognition for their cardiac arrest save. “Thank you to everyone involved, you guys are true life savers,” stated MCFR on its Facebook page.

OPD officer Schueller shaking the patient’s hand during a gathering that was held at HCA Florida Ocala Hospital on Monday (Photo: Ocala Police Department)

Officer Schueller also received a Lifesaver Award from HCA Florida Ocala Hospital in recognition of his pivotal role in saving the patient’s life.

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HCA Florida Ocala Hospital recognized OPD officer Schueller with a Lifesaver Award on Monday (Photo: Ocala Police Department)
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A closeup of the Lifesaver Award that the hospital presented to Officer Schueller (Photo: Ocala Police Department)

In a social media post, OPD called Officer Schueller a “real hero,” and the police department thanked HCA Florida Ocala Hospital for recognizing their officer.