First Responders Honored at Kalamazoo City Commission Meeting

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. – First responders were honored at the Kalamazoo City Commission meeting Monday by a man who said they saved his life.

Rusty Hyder was about to leave work at the U.S. Postal Service on Jan. 3, when he collapsed at his desk, according to a City of Kalamazoo press release.

Hyder’s co-worker, Don Shinske found Hyder at his desk and called for help. Before officials arrived, Hyder’s supervisor, Kevin Trayer, a former emergency medical technician, showed up. He discovered that Hyder was weak and had an erratic heartbeat. That’s when he began administering CPR on the floor. Shortly after, first responders showed up.

“Sgt. Danielle Guilds, the first public safety officer to arrive, got there within minutes of the 911 call,” Hyder said during the meeting. “She was followed closely by five others. Almost all of the PSO’s were pressing on my chest at one time or another.”

The other Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers who took part in saving Hyder’s life, according to the release, were Steve Tsarnas, Jennifer Bryant, Sara Choi, John Resseguie and Sgt. Tom Denharder. Responders Brain Bell and DAvid Thalmann, from Life EMS, were also on scene to assist Dr. Amy Raubenolt, and emergency physician who responds for the Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for medical studies.

“We take them for granted,” Hyder said. “People need to understand that these officers put their mental stability on the line too, because when they get a call, they don’t always know what they’re going to find or what they’re going to be expected to do.”

KDPS Chief, Jeff Hadley also praised his officers during that meeting.

“We get 6,000 calls for service a year to medical/rescue events,” Chief Hadley said. “It speaks to the talent and caliber of the officers we have that they handle all of these disciplines really well. I couldn’t be prouder of the department and those officers and the way they responded.”

Hyder said during the meeting that responders worked on him for over an hour in his office, shocking his heart seven to 10 times.

“I know from sitting on the school board that people don’t always come to talk about the good things,”Hyder said.  “I don’t know how to thank these officers, but I know I need to.”

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