A BLM Ranger Saves a Life

'So what went through your mind when his eyes rolled back in his head?'
'Time to do CPR...'

story & photo by Scott Stoffel
photo by BLM Staff

When Law Enforcement Ranger Patrick Apley left the Lakeview District Office on the afternoon of November 4, 2008, he didn't know the events about to unfold would live forever in his memory. Patrick Apley was one of the first people on the scene where a man complained of chest pains. As Apley entered the Lake County Emergency Services Building to attend a meeting with local law enforcement agents, he was informed by their call center that a man who worked as a woodcutter at the Quartz Mountain Winter Recreation Area was experiencing chest pain.

Ranger Apley was immediately dispatched to the incident along with Lake County Deputy Sheriffs Chuck Pore and Daniel Tague. Upon arrival at the scene, Ranger Apley located the woodcutter in his vehicle and began asking him questions about his medical history. A former Army Corpsman and Emergency Medical Tech, Ranger Apley also holds a nursing license. During the interview, the man's eyes rolled back in his head, he took his last breath and his heart stopped beating.

Instantly, the three law enforcement officials pulled the individual from his pickup and placed him on the ground. They used an automated external defibrillator unit to deliver three shocks to the man's chest and initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Following the third shock, the man regained consciousness and was able to sit upright.

At this time, an ambulance arrived on site and transported the man to the Lake District Hospital where he was stabilized. Later that evening the patient was flown to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls. After having stents placed in four arteries, he was released from the hospital having sustained no damage to his heart.

In recognition of the efforts of Ranger Apley and all emergency responders involved in his rescue, the man posted a letter at various Lakeview businesses that stated "I have my life back but would not have if I had not had help from many professional people from Lake County."

Ranger Apley indicated he would never forget November 4, 2008, as it is rare for someone in full cardiac arrest to walk away from such an event without experiencing any long-term complications. Thanks in no small part to the BLM's own Ranger Apley.

More about the BLM's law enforcement program online.