Emergency responders, medics help save man in medical emergency camping ‘in middle of nowhere’ along Mississippi River

Published 1:03 pm Friday, September 10, 2021

The quick actions of Mississippi emergency personnel and officials with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks saved the life in a medical emergency camping along the banks of the Mississippi River.

The events leading to the man’s rescue began with a Sept. 2 cell phone call from a remote area on the Mississippi River north of Vicksburg that was picked up by Madison Parish, La., 911 and transferred to Vicksburg-Warren 911.

“The report was there was a group of men camping and fishing on the Mississippi River about 16 miles north of Vicksburg,” Pace said.

One of the men in the group, who was identified only as a 52-year-old man, had passed out and was unconscious for several minutes. The man had regained consciousness, he said, but his companions were concerned about his medical condition.

Pace and Chief Deputy Billy Joe Heggins and MDWFP agent Lt. Lee Harvey, joined by Vicksburg Fire Department Capt. paramedic Daniel Greer and firefighter EMTs Jonah Masterson and Noah Nelson, launched boats to look for the men.

“We traveled upstream right at 16 miles and found them on the side of the river,” Pace said. “The paramedics and EMTs rendered first aid; they were able to start an IV and assess his condition and we transported the patient and the EMTs and paramedics back to the city’s riverfront where their ambulance was waiting.”

The man was taken to Merit Health River Region, where he was treated for dehydration and heat-related problems and later released.

“I can’t say enough about the medical services provided by the Vicksburg Fire Department,” Pace said. “It’s not in every community that you have paramedics and EMTs that are as well-trained and as well-equipped as we have with the Vicksburg Fire Department.

“To see these guys in the middle of nowhere on the banks of the Mississippi River with all of the equipment, with all of the medications that they needed to treat this man — he was basically in an emergency room while he was on the bank of the river 16 miles from Vicksburg.”