Local Honored With Award For Lifesaving Actions

Local Honored With Award For Lifesaving Actions
Pictured, from left, are OCFD Assistant Chief Eric Peterson; victim Jeff Connell; Dr. Richard Alcorta, MIEMMS Acting Co-Executive Director and state EMS Medical Director; Valerie Kramer; and OCFD Firefighter/Paramedic Kimberly Tull, who nominated Kramer for the award.

OCEAN CITY — A West Ocean City business manager was honored last week for her heroic actions in helping to save a man who had suffered a cardiac arrest and crashed his vehicle into a dumpster.

The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) last week recognized Baja Amusements manager Valerie Kramer with the agency’s Maryland Citizen Award for her actions in saving a victim’s life back in January 2017. Kramer was working as the manager at Baja Amusements along Route 50 in West Ocean City when a motorist suffered an apparent cardiac arrest and crashed his vehicle not far from the go-kart track.

Each year, MIEMMS presents Stars of Life Awards to honor EMS personnel and EMS programs around the state as well as private citizens who have done their part in intercede in an emergency. Last week, in a special ceremony at the Clarion in Ocean City, MIEMMS honored Kramer for her heroic actions.

The MIEMMS Stars of Life Awards are presented each May for incidents from the prior year. However, because Kramer was unable to attend the annual event in May, MIEMMS officials along with others involved in the incident including the surviving victim, came to Ocean City to make a special presentation.

Baja Amusements is typically closed during the winter months, but Kramer was working in the office when she heard a loud commotion outside. A car had crashed into a dumpster behind the White Marlin Mall, and she saw the driver slumped behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) Officer Vince Artrip was working in the area and was about to end his shift around 2 p.m. when he got the call about a motor vehicle accident near the White Marlin Mall. Artrip responded and upon arrival began attempting to get the unresponsive victim out of the vehicle.

At about the same time, Kramer saw what was happening and went back inside to retrieve an AED from her office and ran to the scene. Kramer immediately applied the defibrillator to the victim’s chest and shocked him before beginning CPR. A short time later, Ocean City Fire Department paramedics arrived on scene and took over resuscitation efforts.

The victim was transported to PRMC and was released two days later after completely recovering from the apparent cardiac arrest that caused him to crash into the dumpster behind the mall. In addition to the state recognition, Kramer had already received a certification of appreciation from the NRP, the highest award for a civilian, during a prior ceremony. Artrip has also been issued a citation for his heroic actions in helping to save the victim’s life.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.