Green River Star -

By David Martin

CPR, quick action saves man's life


Star photo by David Martin

Chester Sliter, right, hugs Green River Fire Fighter Austin Rider Tuesday evening at the Castle Rock Hospital District ambulance barn. Rider was one of many emergency responders who helped save Sliter after he suffered from cardiac arrest.

Chester and Crystal Sliter wore large, beaming smiles Tuesday evening.

The two were at the Castle Rock Hospital District Ambulance Barn, hugging emergency responders and thanking them for their work because without them, Chester wouldn't have been there.

The ambulance service hosted an awards ceremony for those who responded to a 911 call Crystal made March 18, when Chester suddenly fell over unconscious from cardia arrest at the Sliters' home in Green River. Chester doesn't remember a lot about what happened the morning prior to being unconscious, saying he was working on the home he's building in La Barge the previous day.

For his wife, it's likely an event she'll never forget.

"I heard him fall over," Crystal said.

Checking on her husband, she found him face down and not breathing.

Crystal operates a safety consulting firm and is a CPR trainer, but admits the shock of seeing a loved one unconscious and not breathing is a different experience than helping a stranger. Crystal said she immediately felt panicked before her training and education took over. After calling 911, she started chest compressions on her husband.

John Taylor, Castle Rock Ambulance Service's director, said early CPR and cooperation between emergency responders was likely what kept Chester from dying that day.

"Without this whole team ... this could never happen," he said. "Cardiac arrest takes a lot of lives."

When the ambulance service arrived at the Sliter household, Taylor said he saw Green River Police Department Officer Brad Halter doing chest compressions on Chester, having took over from Crystal. Taylor said they used a defibrillator on Chester and analyzed his heart rhythm before loading him into the ambulance and transporting him to Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County. Taylor said Chester was doing poorly on the drive to Rock Springs and said the staff at the hospital did a wonderful job with him before Chester was flown to Salt Lake City.

Taylor also said the incident highlights the need for more CPR education in the community, saying if CRP is performed before emergency responders arrive, the likelihood of survival decreases.

"We need more people who know it," Taylor said. "She's the reason he's here."


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