Every year, spanning from January to April, four separate organizations in Lakeland recognize an outstanding member of the fire department as Firefighter of the Year. The first of these recognitions for “Firefighter of the Year” is given by the Knights of Columbus of Lakeland.
Several nominations were submitted by LFD firefighters for their peers and this year’s winner for the Knights of Columbus Firefighter of the Year award is Firefighter and Paramedic Petur Leonard.
Petur is being recognized for his medical abilities in the field and particualry for a call last year invlvoing a small child who was saved as a result of Petur and his crew’s actions.
The following narrative submitted by his then lieutenant outlines the events that led to his award:
On September 14, 2014, Rescue Truck (R- 42) was dispatched to an emergency call for a “child not breathing; doing CPR”. R-42 Driver Engineer (D/E) / Paramedic Petur Leonard and Firefighter / Paramedic Jonathan Forrester immediately responded to the call.
Due to the nature of the call and the possibility of complications, Station 4 Officer, Lieutenant Chuck Davis, decided to also respond to the call with R-42 on Engine 41 (E-41) with its respective crew.
Rescue 42 arrived on scene first. Lt. Davis arrived on E-41 shortly after and upon entering the home witnessed D/E Leonard rendering medical care on the floor doing chest compressions on the infant patient; all awhile calmly and accurately providing lifesaving orders to the other medical responders on scene.
A few minutes after arriving and beginning compressions on the infant, the patient’s eyes and mouth opened and the child gasped for breath. He had been resuscitated.
D/E Leonard continued with CPR to complete the recommended two minute cycle. At rhythm check during CPR, D/E Leonard found the infant had regained a pulse although the child was not breathing on its own.
While the other emergency responders assisted at the scene in getting the necessary equipment out and ready for further medical care, D/E Leonard intubated the infant and drilled an Interosseous (IO) needle into the infant’s leg for Intravenous (IV) access for medications and fluids. Petur performed multiple medically complex procedures that are arguably responsible for saving the young patients life.
The work Firefighter/Medics perform in the field is heavily based on teamwork and the assistance of fellow emergency response professionals. In this situation, several crew members worked together to assist in saving this child’s life, as expected of them. However, the actions taken by Petur Leonard should be noted as having a significant impact on this situation, resulting in such a positive, life-saving outcome.
Congratulations to Firefighter Leonard and job well done! The award ceremony to honor Petur was held at Resurrection Catholic Church on Saturday, January 31, 2013 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.