Marshall County Coroner, Deputy Coroner Save Life with AED

The Marshall County coroner and his deputy saved the life of a man involved in a minor property damage accident in Marshall County yesterday afternoon with the aid of an automated external defibrillator. Deputy Coroner Lisa Richards and County Coroner Bill Cleavenger had just responded to a fatal accident in Bremen and on their way back to Plymouth, they happened to get stuck behind traffic from the property damage accident at the intersection of North Michigan and Baker streets in Plymouth.

The pair heard the county dispatch center radio a call stating that the man involved in the crash was suffering a heart attack, and Richards and Cleavenger immediately jumped into action, radioing back that they would be responding with an AED as they were only a block and a half away. As they arrived at the scene, they found an unresponsive driver in one of the vehicles, and Richards immediately began applying the AED while Cleavenger administered chest compressions. Shortly afterward, paramedics from the Plymouth Fire Department arrived on the scene along with other emergency services and took over caring for the patient.

The driver, who has not been identified, was transported to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth for evaluation.

Cleavenger said the incident highlighted the importance of having county vehicles equipped with AEDs, a result of the efforts of Chief Deputy and former coroner John Grolich, who was a driving force in having county emergency vehicles furnished with portable AEDs.