South Kitsap firefighters honored for saving boy’s life

Mom: ‘I am so thankful for all of you’

PORT ORCHARD — It was, South Kitsap Fire and Rescue assistant chief Jeff Faucett said, “a horror that no family ever wants to be faced with.”

At 11:20 p.m. Nov. 26, Stephanie Lentell woke up to the voice of her husband saying, “Michael, come on buddy, wake up.”

Stephanie and Brion Lentell’s 4-year-old son Michael was unresponsive and not breathing.

“Responding to her mother’s instinct, she jumped out of bed and ran out into the hallway to find Brion holding Michael,” Faucett said. “As his lips were turning blue, Brion called 911 and Stephanie began doing CPR.”

Within four-and-a-half minutes, paramedics arrived on the scene and took over CPR. Soon, they delivered a shock from their automated external defibrillator (AED) which restarted Michael’s heart, and he was quickly transported to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

On Jan. 16, the Lentell family — including the now-healthy Michael — visited the SKFR Tremont station to meet the emergency responders, on-scene chaplains, doctors and the dispatcher who all worked together to save Michael’s life.

“There aren’t words … there aren’t enough words,” Stephanie told the crowd. “I didn’t hear you guys come in. I was so focused on what I was doing at that particular moment. But what I remember was, you slid next to me and your hands took my place. I will never forget your hands. I am so thankful for all of you.”

In recognition of their work, SKFR granted the first responders with certificates of appreciation. They were also awarded challenge coins honoring their hard work.

“For you first responders that night, I want you to know that your professionalism and rapid response have impacted this family,” Faucett said.

“It changed the trajectory of their family for years, and we appreciate that.

“We want to make sure everybody knows that because of your efforts, because of your training, because of your professionalism, you have done something great for the family.”

Stephanie told them that the whole incident was “a puzzle.”

“Brion [was] the first step,” she said. “And I was the second. Without all of you, nothing I ever could have done would have brought my son back. So thank you.

“Thank you, all of you, for everything you did.”

Faucett said the immediate application of CPR contributed greatly to saving Michael’s life.

“We’re here today to celebrate Michael. His heart started right back up, and he’s alive and well today, largely in part because of mom and dad’s immediate CPR, early AED application by the paramedics and quick response,” he said.

“Any call where the heart has stopped, our dispatchers are trained to start CPR on the phone immediately,” Faucett said.

“We just tell everybody, get out there and start CPR. The chance of survival increases exponentially when CPR is started immediately.”

Faucett encouraged everyone to learn CPR. Classes are available at most of the fire districts in Kitsap County, as well as other organizations. SKFR offers a CPR class monthly. For more information, visit skfr.org.

The first responders who worked on Michael Lentell’s case included: Lieutenant Rick Christenson; Paramedic Greg Cable; Firefighter Ryan Auston; Firefighter Andy Mitchell; Firefighter Allison Suhr; Firefighter Jesse Pingeon; and Chaplain David Horton.

Michelle Beahm is online editor for Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.

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