SEAL ROCK — Adam Tysman was jubilant and grateful as he arrived at the Seal Rock Fire Station on Friday morning, Nov. 22. Tysman had last seen Andrew Lincoln, Seal Rock Rural Fire Protection District firefighter and emergency medical technician, and Fire Chief Thomas Sakaris just before being airlifted via Life Flight helicopter to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene on Oct. 10.
“They saved my life,” Tysman said of Lincoln and Sakaris.
Tysman isn’t sure exactly how he cut himself while using a chainsaw in the woods at his home in the Beaver Creek area while cutting limbs from a fallen tree.
“The only reason I’m alive is because of the incredible response time,” Tysman said of his life-saving rescue by the Seal Rock Rural Fire Protection District. “It was a massive bleed, with blood pouring on my shoes.”
Somehow able to get himself out of the woods, Tysman called 911. “I was in a strange, calm state,” he recalled. The dispatcher kept Tysman on the call until Lincoln arrived first on the scene in just under six minutes.
Lincoln found Tysman on the ground, blood flowing from a gash on his lower leg. Suspecting an arterial bleed, Lincoln applied the first tourniquet.
“The stars were aligned for you that day,” Lincoln said to Tysman. He would normally have been on duty at the Bayshore station, a 10-minute response time to reach Tysman. But Lincoln was changing light bulbs on Line Street in Seal Rock when he heard the call, and he was able to reach Tysman in crucial time to halt the bleeding, likely saving his life.
Sakaris arrived on scene, applying a second tourniquet as Lincoln took direction from Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center as Tysman's medical needs were assessed.
The decision was made to transport him to Newport to meet a Life Flight helicopter at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. Although not equipped to treat his injury, SPCH was able to give Tysman a blood transfusion before he was airlifted to Eugene.
“When I was leaving (the hospital), they told me I was the luckiest person … I was alive. I was going to walk, keep my foot and not have a limp,” Tysman said. And his four young children and his wife keep their beloved father and husband.
Lincoln’s response time, Sakaris’ timely arrival on scene and their decisive action led to the happy ending to this story.
The outcome of distress calls isn’t always a positive one. Just before Tysman arrived at the Seal Rock station, two of the EMTs returned from a call where they were not able to revive the patient.
Sakaris said the first responders fall back on their extensive training to do their jobs effectively. Self care is important, as well, he noted.
“I got stuff to do,” said Lincoln of his sometimes difficult job. “There’s no time to worry about my own anxiety or fear.”
The Seal Rock Fire District responded to 414 calls in 2018. So far in 2019, that number is 401, about a 10 percent increase in calls over last year, in line with the national average.