CPR Saves Lives: a City of Mequon Proclamation In Appreciation of JEFFREY ZILISCH

I presented this proclamation at last night’s Common Council meeting:

On Monday, August 5, 2019, Mequon resident Jeffrey Zilisch heard a commotion at a nearby residence and went out of his way to go to help. He found Mequon resident Timothy Ridley in cardiac arrest. Mr. Zilisch promptly commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while Mr. Ridley’s wife Jill called Mequon Dispatch.

Mequon dispatcher Leah Heimsch took the call and promptly engaged her supervisor, Melina Bowen. The dispatchers utilized Mequon’s Emergency Medical Dispatch software to assist Mr. Zilisch and to coach him in the correct rate of compressions. Their prompt and professional assistance under pressure was instrumental in Mr. Ridley’s survival.

Mequon Police Officer Jason Moertl, the first responder to the scene, applied his Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to Mr. Ridley and delivered a shock as indicated by the AED. Mr. Zilisch and Officer Moertl continued CPR until Mequon Fire and Ambulance First Responder Joshua Lipp arrived on scene and took over CPR and switched Mr. Ridley over to the advanced cardiac monitor.

Mr. Lipp and the rest of the responding team, Greg Gilles, Jacob Evaska, Robert Bell, Quantavious Tucker and Deputy Chiefs Dave Depies and Kurt Zellmann delivered another three shocks after rounds of CPR. After the fourth shock, Mr. Ridley’s heart restarted. As Mr. Ridley was being moved to the stretcher, his heart stopped again, and CPR was resumed and one more shock delivered. The fifth shock was the last one needed and Mr. Ridley was placed in the ambulance for emergency transport.

We should be very proud of our dispatchers, Officer Moertl and our fire and ambulance personnel who responded. They performed in a manner that is a credit to our city, their departments and themselves. Nationally, only about 5% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survive.

However, resident Jeffrey Zilisch deserves special recognition. If not for his selfless, quick and heroic response, Mr. Ridley would not be with us today. Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. CPR can double or even triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival, and for every minute that a victim is without CPR, his or her chance of survival drops by 10%. Unfortunately, bystanders perform CPR only about 37% of the time. Mr. Zilisch did the right thing and started the process that saved Mr. Ridley’s life. Mr. Zilisch provided an example for all of us and a tangible reminder that we all should obtain basic CPR instruction.

In consideration of the foregoing, on behalf of the citizens of the City of Mequon, I proclaim that today, September 10, 2019, is Jeffrey Zilisch Day in the City of Mequon.

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