Archer Lodge fireman John Dusek is accustoming to saving the lives of others. But recently emergency crews saved his life.
Dusek was present Tuesday night at the Selma Town Council meeting as members of the Selma Fire Department, Selma EMS, and employees from Sysco were recognized for saving his life.
On May 20th, Dusek was working at the Sysco plant in Selma and was training to use a forklift. He previously operated forklifts at a job with Wal-Mart and had used them regularly in his 20 year career in the military. However, a freak accident nearly took his life. He remembers backing up and then being shoved under steel shelving and was trapped between the shelving and forklift.
Co-workers immediately dialed 911 as Sysco safety workers rushed to assist John. Selma fire crews had to use their jaws-of-life tool to cut the steel shelves and free John before paramedics could reach him. He was rushed to Wake Medical Center by Selma EMS personnel.
After arriving at the hospital, doctors determined he had severe lacerations to his spleen, two fractured ribs, and some damage to his liver and kidney. He underwent emergency surgery to stop the internal bleeding. A trauma surgeon told his wife, Meredith, the work of Sysco safety crews, Selma Fire and Selma EMS were the only reason her husband was alive.
Four days after the accident, John was released from intensive care and is now recovering at home. After they returned home, John and Meredith and their children, Hannah-Grace, Ian and Hopelynn, made a special trip to Selma to meet the first responders. Tuesday night, his family was present at the Selma Town Council meeting as the responders were formally recognized by Mayor Cheryl Oliver and members of the town board.
“We give God all the glory for having the right people at the right time and seeing to it that John would come home to me and our 3 children. They are 10, 3, and 1,” Meredith wrote in a letter to her heroes. “I am truly grateful for your Fire and Rescue Departments! I know you all do not always get to see or hear the good side of things, but I wanted to make sure that do you hear from us.”
John hopes to return to work in the near future and continue volunteering at the Archer Lodge Fire Department.