“The effort, talent, and dedication,” of members of the Sylvania Township fire department were praised during a recognition of members of the department at a recent meeting of township trustees.

The words were spoken by a man with knowledge of firefighter/paramedics.

Captain Brian DeGardeyn, a long-time member of the Cleveland Fire Department.

He didn’t make his comments based on some formula, or the results of a test, but as the father-in-law of Keith Collett, 35, whose life was apparently lost on the floor of a friend’s apartment Jan. 20.

Mr. Collett had been out with the friend helping others by snow shoveling and pushing cars stranded in the snow on a bitter day. He had been relaxing on a couch when his wife Brittany noticed signs of distress.

She and the friend got him to the floor and she called her father. His primary word of instruction was “compression.” To begin to rhythmically push on his chest

He told trustees that he recalled being told Mr. Collett was not breathing and that he was turning blue.

He began a race toward Toledo and said he was told later that his daughter was on the 28th compression when the first unit of the Sylvania Township Fire Department arrived.

According to Fire Chief Mike Ramm the firefighter/paramedics “found Mr. Collett lifeless…”

They took over CPR and after two minutes delivered an electric shock to his heart. They then resumed CPR.

After two more minutes, they found that Mr. Collett had regained a heart rhythm on the monitor and a corresponding pulse.

While paramedics had been tending to cardiac issues as the second unit of the Sylvania Township fire department had arrived and was working on airway management and IV access.

Not long after that Mr. Collett showed “signs of attempting to breathe on his own and some purposeful movement in his arms.”

He was given some sedation and taken to St. Anne’s Mercy Hospital.

Capt. DeGardeyn mentioned how unlikely it was and pointed to Mr. Collett and described him as looking like a professional athlete.

He added that he is aware of the “just doing my job” attitude of firefighters, “but sometimes you need to be recognized.”

In addition to his praise of the professionalism of the department, he praised them for allowing Mr. Collett’s friend to stay in the room as they worked. They not only allowed but encouraged the friend to kneel near Mr. Collett’s head so he might hear the prayers his friend was offering.


Written by: Mike Jones, Public Information Officer

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