Ohio National Guard News

179th Airlift Wing member provides
medical assistance at Cleveland Indians game

Story by Senior Master Sgt. Lisa Francis, 179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Ohio Air National Guard member Master Sgt. Paul Roub and his wife were attending a Cleveland Indians baseball game Aug. 19 at Progressive Field in Cleveland when Roub, a full-time firefighter at the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio, helped diagnose and care for a man who appeared to have heat exhaustion. (Courtesy photo).

MANSFIELD, Ohio (08/19/18) — On a perfect day for baseball, a sunny 79 degrees with a nice northern lake breeze, Ohio Air National Guard member Master Sgt. Paul Roub and his wife were attending a Cleveland Indians baseball game Aug. 19 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

During the Indians game vs. the Baltimore Orioles game, shortly after the seventh-inning stretch, Roub’s wife noticed a man looking pale and possibly having a seizure. A woman, presumably the man’s wife, was trying to revive her husband, unsuccessfully.

After Roub’s wife brought the situation to his attention, he went over to offer assistance. The 60-year-old baseball fan appeared to be very lethargic and his skin was sweaty and grayish in color. He was in and out of consciousness and his wife expressed concern for his lack of communication skills.

Master Sgt. Roub is full-time firefighter at the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio and also serves as a bioenvironmental engineer technician in the Ohio Air National Guard.

“I obtained his medical history from his wife and I checked his capillary refill times by pressing on the bed of his nails,” Roub said. “I explained to him the protocols that will likely occur when the medical staff from Progressive Field arrived to help. I assisted the staff with moving the gentleman from his seat to an area where more extensive care could be delivered. I also explained to the couple a brief overview of the signs and symptoms associated with prolonged heat exposure.”

The gentleman was in and out of consciousness when the medical team arrived and eventually gained consciousness enough to be able to be assisted up the stairs for further evaluation.

“I could tell that this gentleman was suffering from heat exhaustion and at, one point, he developed a slight twitch, almost indicative of a stroke,” Roub said. “I initially thought this was the primary cause of the emergency. I had the gentleman smile for me and grab my hands to observe any inconsistencies associated with a possible stroke….

“In my professional opinion, the gentleman suffered from heat exhaustion. He had limited fluid intake, and sitting in the sun, although not directly, contributed to his body suffering from heat exhaustion. It was the type of day where you don’t think you need to be consuming as much fluid as you should because of the type of work being performed. He was just sitting in the stands watching a baseball game. However, the effects of dehydration can set in rather rapidly, especially in this case where the gentleman had limited fluid intake, and stood up to stretch.” Roub said.

The couple was very thankful for the off-duty firefighter’s assistance. “She thanked me several times, as we pieced together the prior events that led up to this need for medical attention.” Roub said.

When heat exhaustion is left unchecked, it can eventually lead to complete unconsciousness and a higher level of care would have been necessary, Roub said. “I believe that by recognizing the problem early on, getting the man out of the sun and into a cool place, administering fluid intake, this man skirted a potential significant medical emergency,” he said. “Had no one helped this gentleman, the need for CPR, potentially an AED (automated external defibrillator), and advanced cardiac life support would have been necessary.”

Both firefighters and military members are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke through self-aid and buddy care courses.

“The main thing is to remain calm and be a reassuring voice,” Roub said. “Without my medical bag and tools to function as an EMT, I provided assurance to the patient. Often times, just being assertive, calm and friendly can make someone who is having a bad day, feel that much better.”

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