Brac DoE “hero” accepts lifesaving device

| 27/05/2010

(CNS): The Department of Environment Marine Unit on the Sister Islands has received an automated external defibrillator (AED) machine from the Cayman Heart Fund. Presenting the life saving devise to Marine Parks Enforcement Officer Erbin Tibbetts, CHF Chairman Suzy Soto recounted an episode in her own life that demonstrated what she described as the compassion, reliability, and fearless determination of Tibbetts and Customs Officer Tate McFarlane, which she said was typical of Cayman Brackers. While in Little Cayman Soto was taken to the health clinic with heart problems, she recalled. (Left: CHF Chair Suzy Soto and Marine Officer Erbin Tibbetts)

However, there was a bad storm and Captain Kris Bergstrom of Cayman Airways and Marcus Cumber of Island Air spent the night trying to get a plane to fly over to pick her up, but no flights were allowed into Little Cayman at night due to the flight risks. The situation was relayed to Erbin Tibbetts and Customs Officer Tate McFarlane, who were on the Brac, and they were told she needed to get to the Brac Hospital as soon as possible, Soto said.

Despite the danger they faced themselves, the decided to make the journey in the DoE boat between the Sister Islands.

"As they most often do, they set out, picked up the patient, turned back to the Brac through the storm and rough seas. As fate would have it, the prop fell off in thousands of feet of water. However, prepared with a spare prop, they put it on and continued the journey arriving in the Brac at 6:00 am,” Soto recalled. She said she made it safely to the Brac, along with Paramedic Andrew Barron and her husband, Bob Soto, on board.

Soto said how happy she was to present to Tibbetts, the hero of her story, the AED as a gift from the Board of Directors of the Cayman Heart Fund and hoped it would save more lives.

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