Motley police, first responder and EMT named heroes for lifesaving efforts

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
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Mike Robinson, manager at Trident Foods in Motley and its vice president of Surimi Operations, is alive today because of several quick thinking women and the local medical teams of Motley.

Robinson was taking his lunch break May 27, 2011, at the Countryside Restaurant in Motley, when he went into cardiac arrest.

For saving the life of Mike Robinson who suffered a cardiac arrest while at lunch, Motley emergency medical personnel were awarded the Heart Saver Hero Award from the American Heart Association. Pictured are (from left): then Fire Chief Steve Dille, Police Chief Brian Madison and first responder Andrea Carlson.

While the 911 call was being placed, two women from Stewartville, Beth Archer and Lisa May, both recently recertified in CPR training, jumped in and began the procedure on Robinson.

The 911 call to the police and the First Response team said Robinson was having a seizure. Police Chief Brian Madison was first on the scene, but without the defibrillator he keeps in the squad car. As soon as he saw Archer and May doing CPR on Robinson, he ran back to the squad to retrieve the defibrillator.

“The man looked dead,” said Madison. “The defibrillator is a dinosaur, but I opened his shirt and put the pads on his chest. The defibrillator immediately said, ‘Shock advised.’”

Madison had everyone back off for the first shock.

Mike Robinson

Steve Dille, then the Motley Fire Chief and an emergency medical technician, arrived at that moment. He took over the CPR from the two women.

“It was chaos in the packed restaurant,” said Dille. “It was Friday before Memorial Day weekend and there were a lot of travelers.”

While this was transpiring, First Responder Andrea Carlson was at the shop pulling another defibrillator, oxygen and the equipment bag from one truck (which wouldn’t start) to load into another truck to transport everything to the restaurant.

When she arrived on the scene, it was still chaotic, but most of the patrons had been removed from the overflow room where Robinson was being treated.

“On the second shock to Robinson, he uttered a painful sounding gasp, but still did not have a pulse,” said Madison. “With the third one, Robinson inhaled like I’ve never heard before.”

Robinson then pushed Dille away and tried to roll over onto his side. He was left in that recovery position until the Staples ambulance arrived. As he was being taken to the ambulance, he was speaking.

From Staples, he was airlifted to St. Cloud via helicopter, where stents were implanted.

As Madison was leaving the restaurant, he said to the crowd outside, “You guys just witnessed a miracle.”

This is the first successful save of a cardiac arrest patient for the Motley team. It’s a rare occurrence and the Motley team credits the original CPR treatments as saving Robinson’s life.

“Only 6 percent of cardiac arrest patients are revived,” said Dille. He explained that with a cardiac arrest, the heart has stopped. With a heart attack, there may be blockage, but the heart is still pumping.

“If it wasn’t for the two women who jumped in immediately, Robinson would be dead. He was clinically dead until the defibrillator arrived,” he said.

“It all worked out, the right people were there at the right time,” said Carlson.

Dille, Madison and Carlson all received the Heart Saver Hero Award from the American Heart Association at a special event held at the Motley Fire Hall Sept. 6, 2011.

“The best moment was seeing Robinson walk into the Fire Department,” said Madison. “That day, and the day we saved his life, was very emotional.”

Attempts by the Morrison County Record to reach Robinson were unsuccessful.