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Firefighters Honored with Star of Life

Post Date:05/08/2024 9:57 AM

Collierville Fire and Rescue proudly announces that John Strykowski, Firefighter/Paramedic, and Cody Luhrs, Firefighter/AEMT, have been honored with the Tennessee Star of Life Award. This recognition followed their exceptional response and care provided during a critical medical emergency.
Pictured L-R: John Strykowski, Firefighter/Paramedic, and Cody Luhrs, Firefighter/AEMT
Pictured L-R: John Strykowski, Firefighter/Paramedic, and Cody Luhrs, Firefighter/AEMT

The Star of Life Award celebrates the extraordinary efforts of emergency medical personnel who demonstrate exemplary lifesaving care. Presented by the Children's Emergency Care Alliance of Tennessee (CECATN), this award acknowledges frontline responders across the state who go above and beyond in their duty to save lives and provide comfort during harrowing situations.

Strykowski and Luhrs were nominated by Baptist Hospital Memphis for their response to a stroke case involving Mr. James Booker on March 31, 2023. Mr. Booker experienced stroke-like symptoms while at a workout facility in Collierville. A friend witnessed the incident and immediately called 911, where Unit 85 with Strykowski and Luhrs on board, responded promptly.

Upon arrival, the firefighters conducted a thorough stroke assessment and recognized that Mr. Booker was experiencing a Large Vessel Occlusion (an interruption of blood flow in one of the main large arteries in the brain) which required urgent intervention. Making a crucial decision to bypass a closer hospital, they transported Mr. Booker to a facility equipped to perform the necessary neuro-intervention, ultimately saving his life.

“John and Cody demonstrated the dedication and expertise of emergency responders in Collierville. Their quick thinking and decisive actions ensured Mr. Booker received timely medical treatment, leading to a successful outcome,” said Fire Chief John Selberg.

Chief Selberg along with Assistant Fire Chief Paul Witt, attended the award ceremony honoring the firefighters on May 2, 2024, in Lebanon, Tennessee. Eight regions across the state were recognized along with special awards. While Mr. Booker couldn't attend the award banquet, he was presented with a "Certificate of Life," recognizing his bravery and resilience during the emergency.

Jennifer Porter, President of CECATN, shared “this year our winners utilized past lessons learned to positively impact the patients they cared for in life threatening situations. The dedication to your communities does not go without notice and your citizens are safer because of you.”

CECATN, the organization behind the Star of Life Awards ceremony, provides valuable educational programs for healthcare providers, including emergency medical responders, nurses, and physicians, to enhance their skills in caring for children with injuries or acute illnesses. 

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