POE inspector helps in saving traveler's life

Without much hesitation, Cottrell Port of Entry Inspector Julie Roseborough grabbed her handheld radio and called to the other port building nearby to give a situation status report. She ran out of the port office after two people came in to say there was a collapsed man outside near the neighboring Cottrell Rest Area along westbound Interstate 84 in rural Cassia County on the evening of July 12.

As she arrived to assess the situation, Roseborough found an older man surrounded by his wife and another couple. The man was unresponsive and had unstable breathing and pulse. The man at the scene, as Roseborough found out, was a trained EMT and her arrival initiated a combined effort to begin CPR.

“I knew when I saw the woman crying over her husband we couldn’t stand there and do nothing,” Roseborough said.

Fortunately, through previous job experience, Roseborough was trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Ten years working as a certified nurse’s aide and another 10 years teaching physical education led to past certification and prepared her to respond to the life-threatening episode.

While the efforts were not in vain, it was obvious additional resources were needed. Roseborough’s counterpart in the eastbound POE building, Renae Eddings, contacted the Idaho State Police to find out if a trooper was near with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Fortunately, trooper Brian Stradling was less than 10 miles away returning from a crash scene near the Utah border.

After the trooper arrived, the stricken man received two shocks from the AED and continued CPR from Roseborough and others on the scene. It was about 20 minutes from initiation of CPR until an ambulance arrived from Burley and its crew took over.

“He was stabilized soon after they arrived,” Roseborough said. “Before they left he was pink and breathing.”

Soon afterward, the POE crew followed the ambulance with the older couple’s car. At the hospital, they learned the travelers were en route to Portland to visit their daughter. The man had a history of health issues. At last check, the day after the event, Roseborough learned the man was already recovering.

“The EMTs from the ambulance said that getting his heart started and keeping him alive was one-in-a-million,” she said. “It was an honor to be able to help somebody and knowing what to do in that situation.”

Driving home after ending her shift, Roseborough said she tried to remember what the date was … it just happened to be her second anniversary with ITD.

Published 7-27-2012