Ariz. firefighter/medic honored for service, rescue
Firefighter/paramedic Coy Boggler named Firefighter of the Year for 2012
By Jeff Grant
Sun City West Independent
SUN CITY, Ariz. — As summer days in the Valley go, it was one of the hotter ones.
Fire District of Sun City West firefighter Coy Boggler was stationed that afternoon in 2012 with the Helicopter Air-medical and and Logistics Operation, known as HALO-151. Temperatures had climbed above 110 degrees by a quarter past noon, when the unit received a call to respond to Quartz Peak Trail in a very remote area of the Estrella Sierra Mountains southwest of Phoenix. Mr. Boggler and a colleague were being dispatched to find and transport a sick hiker, according to fire district officials.
In the very remote area, the helicopter was able to land within a half mile of the hiking party. But Mr. Boggler and his partner had to hike the rest of the way up the rugged terrain with their medical gear and a stretcher - a total of an extra 40-60 pounds split between the two firefighter/paramedics. They would be the first rescue party on the scene.
When the rescuers arrived, they found four hikers in various stages of heat exhaustion.
One man was unresponsive and barely breathing, according to Fire District of Sun City West spokeswoman Holli Sandeen.
After a quick assessment, the paramedics began treating the man while calling for further help. Mr. Boggler, 36, provided advanced life support, and the pair began the difficult journey with their patient back down toward the HALO-151 helicopter.
Once more rescuers arrived, the patient was removed from the trail and taken to West Valley Hospital in Goodyear, about 9 miles away. Mr. Boggler performed CPR throughout the entire flight to West Valley.
All told, Mr. Boggler spent around two hours with the patient before he was at the hospital.
Mr. Boggler's efforts trying to save the hiker were praised by district officials, who said that he did everything possible in that situation.
"Coy upheld the highest standards expected from a firefighter and paramedic," Ms. Sandeen stated. "He put the life of the patient ahead of his own personal safety and comfort, and in doing so gave his patient the best chance for survival."
For his efforts, Mr. Boggler was named the district's Firefighter of the Year for 2012.
"He risked his life," said Fire District Board of Directors Chairman David Wilson.
"He's a good example of the quality of fire-fighter we have here in Sun City West."
Mr. Boggler also was named one of two Gold Medal of Recognition Award winners from VFW Post 10695, Sun City West. He also was given the Sun City Elks Lodge 2559 Fire/Law and Order Award.
An 11-year veteran of the fire district, Mr. Boggler also was cited by the VFW Post for outstanding service, one of two additional awards handed out by the organization.
The other tribute went to another fire district responder, Jennifer Potter.
A 10-year-member of the SCWFD, Ms. Potter assembled a supply system for the district's emergency medical services.
"Her work was invaluable," said Ms. Sandeen.
Added Rebecca Haro, the district's EMS coordinator, This really eliminates waste.
It helps keep our stock circulated preventing items from sitting on the shelf that have expired before we have a chance to use them."
Ms. Potter also served as interim EMS coordinator for the district when the present coordinator was on extended leave.
Ms. Potter was named the district's Paramedic of the Year and given the Gold Medal Recognition Award by the VFW post.
"She has been a huge asset to the district," said Ms. Sandeen, "giving the highest level of patient care to our citizens and the supply bin program."
Both Mr. Boggler and Ms. Potter were recognized by the fire district during the Jan. 15 Board of Directors meeting, when the panel presented the district's awards.
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