Emergency worker: Frist 'a true hero'
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- Four victims of a sport utility vehicle crash were recovering in Florida hospitals Thursday after receiving medical aid from incoming Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R- Tennessee.
Frist, a surgeon, was driving near the accident scene Wednesday on Alligator Alley, the section of Interstate 75 that runs across the Everglades. He stopped and helped emergency workers treat crash victims after an SUV rolled over several times in an apparent tire blowout. A 10-year-old girl died at the scene and a 14-year-old boy died of his injuries later Thursday.
Capt. Ken Kronheim of Broward County Fire Rescue discussed Frist's role in the rescue Thursday on CNN's "American Morning With Paula Zahn."
KRONHEIM: Dr. Frist was giving our dispatch center updates regarding the amount of patients and their conditions. The accident scene is in a very remote area that takes about 30 to 40 minutes for rescue crews to get to.
He did report while we were on our way out that there was at least one fatality, and he gave us an idea that there were numerous critical patients, which was helpful because we then mobilized additional resources and a second helicopter.
Probably the most important thing Dr. Frist did was triage the scene for us, which basically means sorting out the patients according to priority. We had so many patients on scene, eventually decisions have to be made on who gets treated first, who gets transported first, and he was instrumental in helping us sort out the critical patients.
He actually pulled me away from one patient to render care to another patient, who he correctly identified as being more critical and then he actually helped me draw out muscle relaxants and sedatives to facilitate advanced airway procedures.
He did look familiar, and it is known that he was a thoracic surgeon. When I heard his name mentioned -- we took a list of all bystanders, and there were numerous bystanders on the scene; there were off-duty doctors, nurses and paramedics who were all helping -- we basically put two and two together and realized that that was Sen. Frist.
He sneaked out before he could get any thanks or glory -- a true hero.