Danny Burkett walked into the die shop at AFL’s Alumoweld division in Duncan, South Carolina. “How’re you doing?” coworker Raymond Lavender asked. “I’m doing good,” Danny replied, turning to read the notices on the company bulletin board. In the next breath, Danny suddenly dropped to the floor like a lead weight. Stunned, Raymond watched as Danny lay motionless, arms by his side and eyes wide open, making a gurgling sound. Raymond shook him without response and ran to ask fellow employee Randy Gregory to call 911. Raymond then called another employee, Scotty Osment, and told him to come to the die shop immediately.
AFL Alumoweld division is a busy manufacturing facility that produces aluminum-clad steel products. Work there demands that all of the approximately 80 employees are familiar with first aid and prepared to respond in emergencies. During Scotty’s 27 years on the job, basic first aid training has come in handy for minor emergencies, but he’s never had to respond as he did that day.
“The metronome definitely helped us deliver CPR at the right pace.”— Scotty Osment, AFL Alumoweld division employee
A coordinated response
Scotty grabbed the shop’s ZOLL® automated external defibrillator (AED) on his way to the die shop, reaching Danny only moments after Raymond’s call. Danny’s face was purple, his hands were cold, and he had no pulse. Raymond had begun cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) compressions. Scotty opened the electrode packaging and connected Danny to the ZOLL AED Plus®. It immediately analyzed Danny’s heartbeat and indicated a shock was needed. The rescuers stood back while the shock was delivered and then continued chest compressions as the device instructed. Raymond and Scotty took turns, listening to the real-time prompts from the AED. After a couple of rounds of CPR, employees Tim Brown and Randy Gregory took turns delivering CPR compressions.
“I’ve only ever used the AED in training. The metronome definitely helped us deliver CPR at the right pace,” recalls Scotty.
Meanwhile, colleague Brandon Hughes cleared a path to the die shop for emergency services and waited at the intersection of the nearest main roads to flag down emergency vehicles. Employees Frances Marchant and Daniel Corn waited at the plant entrance.
When the fire department arrived about 25 minutes later, Danny still didn’t have a pulse, so the employees were asked to continue CPR. The ambulance arrived shortly thereafter, and EMTs started an IV, took over CPR, and transported Danny to a local hospital for care.
The data from the AED was later used to help Danny’s doctors determine that he needed an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Danny is recovering and hopes to be back to work soon.