GLEN ROSE –Somervell County has had AED’s in county buildings for several years, but, if any are located in a secluded corner like the one inside the Somervell County Expo, many residents have probably never noticed the lifesaving devices.
At approximately 10:26 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6, the Somervell County Fire Department was paged out for a possible CPR in progress. Lt. Brian Jones and engineer Matthew Green responded to the call and by the time they arrived on scene the 61-year-old male was breathing again. He was still unresponsive, but breathing, nonetheless.
It was a short response time that allowed for a modern-day miracle to occur on the sandy ground inside of the Somervell County Expo during the weekend’s Old Tyme Tractor Show and Pull.
In fact, James Grossman of Chouteau, Okla. said that he was “surprised at how quickly the fire department got here.”
Grossman was one of the fifty-or-so spectators huddled around a revitalized Mark Kincaid when the EMT’s pulled the ambulance into the ring. He was also one of the first to see the man go down and lose consciousness.
“I saw him go down, but I didn’t know what to think of it right away,” Grossman said. “I thought he might be joking or something, but then everyone started panicking.”
Luckily, a few bystanders remained calm over the ensuing six minutes.
Positioned behind a desk atop a flatbed trailer and directly behind where Kincaid hit the ground, it was Jana Holveck who first phoned 9-1-1 to alert of the emergency.
It was then an unknown, and reportedly off-duty firefighter, who began the first set of 100-chest compressions while Kincaid’s wife, Carol awaited instruction to issue mouth-to-mouth resuscitation whilst on her knees and bent over her husband who by now was in full-on cardiac arrest.
At the same time, Chris Kruger – a Glen Rose resident for the last 30-some-odd years – made the move that ultimately saved Kincaid’s life.
Kruger remembered previously spotting an AED machine tucked away behind a short divider wall to the right of the clothing store located inside the expo center.
“When someone said defibrillator, I knew exactly where it was from seeing it in the past,” Kruger said. “I hurried from out near the arena and as soon as I grabbed it off of the wall, someone came from behind me and asked if she could take it.
“I remember saying, ‘well you’re faster than me so yes, go, go, go!’”
That person was Jackie Quattlebaum.
“I ran the machine nearly to the bottom of the bleachers and then handed it to my husband to take into the ring.”
Quattlebaum and her husband were operating a merchandise booth around the corner from where the AED was located.
While the AED was changing hands not once, not twice, but three times on its way to Kincaid, Dalton Hair – a former volunteer fire fighter in Proctor – had already begun the second set of chest compressions.
“There was already a guy doing a set of compressions when I walked up, so when he finished I took over,” Hair recalled. “By the time I started, the EMTs were arriving. We had just gone through CPR training at the department about two-and-a-half months ago is the only reason I felt comfortable.”
As Hair took over, the AED found its way into the hands of Jeanette Siez, an emergency medical responder from Warner, Okla. with four years of service in the Stuart Volunteer Fire Department.
Siez administered three shocks in-between the three sets of compressions – one by unnamed volunteer fire fighter, one-and-a-half by Hair and a half-set by a local Somervell County constable.
But it was the third shock that was sent into the chest of Kincaid just as the EMTs arrived that seemed to bring the life back into his body, Siez recalled.
“I have been in other life-threatening situations, but this was the first tie we were able to save a life and bring someone back,” Siez said. “[…] It was a team effort. It was not just one person. It was a team. If it weren’t for everyone involved, he wouldn’t be here.
“I don’t consider myself a hero, because I just did my job. Both the CPR and the AED brought him back to life.”
Lt. Jones echoed the last statement made by Siez in regards to the importance of early CPR and the administering of an AED machine.
“A big key to survival rate in early CPR is getting the compressions started and getting the initial shock,” Jones explained. “If it hadn’t of been for the bystanders and AED, it would have been a lot different outcome. […] It is definitely a testament to those AEDs.”
As for Kincaid, officials reported that he was awake and responsive by the time he arrived at the emergency room of Glen Rose Medical Center. He was then flown via air ambulance to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth for further evaluation.
“When we got here to Harris Hospital, [Mark] said ‘I feel good enough that I am ready to get back to the tractor pull,” said Mark’s wife, Carol on Monday afternoon. “We have an angiogram scheduled for this afternoon, but we hope to be going home on Tuesday.
“I would really, really like to thank the guys who jumped in to do the compressions and really don’t know how exactly to express our gratitude. We are eternally grateful for everyone and all they did to save his life.”
Merriam-Webster defines the word “hero” as “one who shows great courage” or “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.”
Even though none involved in saving the life of 61-year-old Mark Kincaid wanted to admit it, not even when prodded by a nosey reporter, each and every one of those eight bystanders and two emergency personnel perfectly portrayed the definition of hero.