Local emergency services personnel commended

Michelle James, Customs and Border Protection western states director of field operations, acknowledges the role local CBP personnel in saving the life of Jim Graham, second from left.

Michelle James, Customs and Border Protection western states director of field operations, acknowledges the role local CBP personnel in saving the life of Jim Graham, second from left.

 

U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene read out a commendation acknowledging the efforts of local border and emergency personnel in saving the life of Graham. The commendation has been entered into the U.S. Congressional record.

U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene read out a commendation acknowledging the efforts of local border and emergency personnel in saving the life of Graham. The commendation has been entered into the U.S. Congressional record.

CBP personnel were presented with a U.S. flag that had flown over the U.S. Capital in Washington, D.C. Third from right stands Detliff Goellner who initiated rescue efforts on Graham by performing CPR.

CBP personnel were presented with a U.S. flag that had flown over the U.S. Capital in Washington, D.C. Third from right stands Detliff Goellner who initiated rescue efforts on Graham by performing CPR.

Personnel from Airlift Northwest, CBP, Point Roberts fire district and Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department flanking Jim Graham and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene in front of assorted vehicles and aircraft.

Personnel from Airlift Northwest, CBP, Point Roberts fire district and Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department flanking Jim Graham and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene in front of assorted vehicles and aircraft.

A crowd of approximately 100 people attended an unprecedented commendation ceremony held Wednesday, August 12 in recognition of the contributions made by various agency personnel in saving the life of Jim Graham, a Canadian who suffered a heart attack while cycling across the border on June 7.

Graham collapsed outside of the U.S. port of entry but survived due to the assistance of a ready network of individuals and agencies that came to his rescue. First on the scene was Customs and Border Protection officer Detliff Goellner who was out of the building in “moments,” and began performing CPR, bringing Graham “back from the brink of death twice.” Goellner had recently finished a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Goellner kept Graham alive until the arrival of a crew from the Point Roberts fire department with paramedic Ben Boyko who carried on until the arrival of an Airlift Northwest helicopter. Graham was then transported to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham.

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