Citizens Honored for Helping Save Man's Life at Saint Edward State Park

The Northshore Fire Department honors Kristen Terpstra of Kirkland and five others for helping save the life of a man who collapsed, using CPR and a portable defibrillator.


Six people who came to the rescue of a man who collapsed at Saint Edward State Park have been honored with “Meritorious Action Awards” by the Northshore Fire Department.

One of the individuals honored was from Kirkland - Kristen Terpstra. Both the Northshore and Kirkland fire departments responded to the incident, and say it serves as a vivid reminder that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and portable defibrillators save lives and that citizens should familiarize themselves with how to use them.

On Sept. 15 a man named Keith Dotter collapsed while walking the park, which is mostly in Kenmore but partly in Kirkland. According to a Northshore Fire Department press release, a few people rushed to his aid, including Alice and David Marshall of Seattle and Terpstra. They discovered Dotter had no pulse and was not breathing.

“I was terrified,” said David Marshall, who was one of the first to reach the man. “At first I just froze.”

He asked if anyone knew CPR, and Terpstra began chest compressions while others called 911. When Terpstra tired, David Graves of Bothell stepped in to continue CPR. Soon Park Rangers Mohammad Mostafavinassab and Lukas Peter responded with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) and delivered shocks to the man’s heart.

When emergency crews arrived, Dotter had a pulse and was transported to a local hospital, where he survived.

The award was presented to the six citizens last week and recognizes their selfless actions in saving the life of a complete stranger.

The Northshore Fire Department press release noted that it is important to mention the role that the King County Medic One program played in the event. For years Medic One has encouraged and supported local CPR training programs, public education efforts and the placement of AED’s in public places. Medic One states, “The real difference in patient outcome is made in the first ten minutes.”

The rescue at Saint Edward State Park highlights how citizen participation is a vital link in the “Chain of Survival” for sudden cardiac arrest. AED’s can be found in many public areas and their use can be critical for the survival of people with heart-related emergencies.

The Northshore Fire Department encourages all citizens to take a CPR class. The Northshore Fire Department is offering two free adult CPR classes at its headquarters Station 51 in Kenmore (7220 NE 181st St.) on Nov. 7, 2 p.m., and Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m. Space is limited; to register, contact Wendy Booth at wbooth@northshorefire.com or 425-354-1742.

Learn more by going to the American Heart Association website at www.americanheart.org.


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