Photo by Elaine Rackley: Bennett International Group employees, Teddy Ingram, Phil DeSouza and Keith Moore, received commendations from the Henry County Fire Department Wednesday. The men recently worked together, with other employees, to save the life of a Bennett truck driver.
Henry County Fire officials have recognized what they called heroic efforts by employees of Bennett International Group. The employees are credited with saving truck driver Jimmy Maddox’s life.
“Positive outcomes of this type are very rare in our business, and it takes teamwork to make them occur,” said Henry County Fire Chief Bill Lacy, in presenting employees, and the management of Bennett, with certificates for their quick response to the emergency.
“The Bennett team responded flawlessly to help provide a successful outcome,” added Lacy, Wednesday, during a brief ceremony.
Maddox, according to Bennett employees and local fire officials, was in full cardiac arrest, but employees called upon the training they regularly receive in using the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), First Aid, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
“Employees of Bennett immediately put their training into motion, initiating the first three links in the chain of survival," said Henry County Fire Capt. Sabrina Puckett. Those three links are: Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system, early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions, and rapid defibrillation, according to Puckett.
The emergency incident at Bennett took place on Jan. 12, around 2:30 p.m., according to Keith Moore, a mechanic at the trucking company, located at 1001 Industrial Parkway, in McDonough. Moore said it was a typical workday when truck driver Maddox asked him for help.
“He said his battery was dead and asked if I could give him a jump,” Moore recalled. Moore said he watched as Maddox placed the battery box on the ground, stood up, and leaned on his truck.
“I saw him slide to the ground, and rushed over to him, and he clenched up. He was starting to turn red in the face,” Moore recalled.
Moore, of Lovejoy, said he told Yard Facility Manager Teddy Ingram he had a driver down. Moore said he made eye contact with Maddox and began talking to him. “I said, ‘Hey man, it’s going to be all right.’” Then, Phil DeSouza, Bennett’s director of field operations and compliance, Ingram and Moore began CPR on Maddox.
“Phil told us [Maddox] is in full blown cardiac arrest,” said Moore, who had completed a CPR class for the first time in July. Ingram, of Morrow, said everything was happening quickly, as they performed chest compressors on Maddox.
“Phil was the leader. He gave us instructions,” said Moore. “I was just making sure my people were getting the right equipment,” interjected DeSouza.
According to DeSouza and Puckett, Maddox was pulseless, breathless, lifeless, and in cardiac arrest. DeSouza began CPR and called for the defibrillator. Ingram took over, applying compressions, and DeSouza performed defibrillation. After two shocks, Maddox regained a pulse.
Just before the second shock, the McDonough Fire Department arrived and secured an airway on Maddox. Minutes later, Henry County Fire Department’s Rescue Unit No. 14, from fire station No. 1, began Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and transported Maddox to an area hospital.
“Our crisis management team has gone through great lengths to make sure that the equipment and training are available,” said DeSouza. “If there had not been an AED, Jimmy Maddox would not be here today.”
Other employees of Bennett put their training into motion, too, DeSouza said. “There were ladies in the front office on the phone with 911. There were people in our records department getting personal information ... It was truly a team effort, everybody came together to make a difference.”