Gwinnett Tech Alumnus Leads Life-Saving Team

March 05, 2013

Gwinnett Tech Alumnus Leads Life-Saving Team
Paramedic Matt Caswell Puts His Training to the Test

Lawrenceville

Gwinnett Technical College alumnus and Alpharetta paramedic Matt Caswell recently led a team of firefighters and EMTs to save a man in sudden cardiac arrest.

Johns Creek resident Steve Rosenthal knew he had high cholesterol, but he never anticipated that at age 58, he would be in a battle for his life. Rosenthal's heart stopped while he was riding his bicycle alone on the Big Creek Greenway in Alpharetta.

Caswell, along with Alpharetta Department of Public Safety firefighters and EMTs Mitchell Poole, James Cheatham, Mark Rettenmeyer, Brad Denkinger, Jeremy Reifsnyder, Joshua Kaman, Jon Caldwell and Mark McManious were dispatched to the scene, arriving in approximately four minutes. Rosenthal had stopped breathing and was turning gray. An anesthesiologist who was on the Greenway assisted emergency medical staff in providing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

"I'm just so thankful for all of these guys," Rosenthal said. "I was so lucky and blessed in so many different ways. Everybody did such a wonderful job."

The team intubated him, started intravenous fluids, injected Epinephrine and administered the Automated External Defibrillator four times. Rosenthal was transported by Rural Metro ambulance to North Fulton Regional Hospital and was subsequently airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital where he later underwent surgery.

"This incident was a great opportunity for me to put the training I had received through Gwinnett Tech's paramedic program into action. Fortunately, for the patient, we were able to provide advanced life support and get him to the hospital with a pulse," says Caswell.

Caswell is not only a dedicated paramedic, but during his time at Gwinnett Tech, he also revealed an astounding work ethic. "Matt showed that he would do a great job when faced with emergency situations. It's always rewarding to see that the students do as well in the field as they do in my class," says Gwinnett Tech EMS instructor David Newton.

Rosenthal survived despite the odds. Survival from an out-of-hospital heart attack in which the patient stops breathing is generally less than 10 percent. Studies have shown that bystander CPR significantly improves the odds.

Rosenthal recently took his bike out again for a ride, this time in a well-populated area. He is married with two grown children.

GTC offers a degree and diploma in Paramedicine, a diploma in EMS Professions and certificates for Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and Advanced Emergency Medical Technician.

Gwinnett Tech offers more than 50 degree, diploma and certificate options that can be completed in two years or less. For more information, visit www.GwinnettTech.edu or call 770-962-7580.

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