It was just past noon on December 17, and a truck driver was leaving the Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) plant in Marble Hill, Georgia, with a load of ground calcium carbonate. The driver had been in the scale house just minutes before, but now he was unconscious on the ground near his truck. Another driver on the scene witnessed the incident and alerted a HEM employee.
The collapsed truck driver was not breathing and the first HEM employee to reach him could not find a pulse.
Several members of the Marble Hill team leapt into action, retrieving a mouth barrier to aid with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, calling 911 and using the two-way radio to request the automated external defibrillator (AED).
The radio call for the AED triggered an impromptu relay race, with multiple people running it across the plant until the device arrived on the scene. After two shocks with the defibrillator, the driver began breathing again, opened his eyes and attempted to sit up.
Meanwhile, several employees headed to Georgia Highway 53 to ensure the ambulance turned into the correct entrance to the facility.
Just 15 minutes elapsed between the moment the driver collapsed to the arrival of the paramedics. The driver was rushed to Northside Hospital-Cherokee in Canton, about 22 miles (35 kilometers) away. Part of the driver’s treatment included inserting a pacemaker to help prevent future cardiac incidents.
For the Marble Hill team, the incident reinforced the need to always be prepared and stay up to date on CPR training, not just for people on-site or at plant environments, but for everyone across Huber. Although the driver was not a Huber employee, the care and devotion the Marble Hill team showed him demonstrated the site’s commitment to safety for everyone present.
In February, the four Marble Hill employees who worked together to save the driver’s life were recognized at a celebratory lunch at the plant.