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Bedminster honors first responders’ life-saving actions


Bedminster Township, long known to residents as a great place to live, is now also known as a great place to work, to a man from another county and his family.

Last March, Lloyd Wenger, of Lancaster, went into cardiac arrest while working as a contractor at a Bedminster Road jobsite.

Bedminster Police Officers Steve Pekach and Dan Chonko arrived to find him on the floor receiving CPR from a coworker, who turned out to be his son, Lloyd Jr.

The officers deployed their AED defibrillator, and took over the CPR.

As told by Bedminster Police Chief Matt Phelan at the May 8 public board of supervisors meeting, “in very short order, they were joined” by James Keough and Jeffrey Lauble from Palisades Regional Fire and Rescue; Jessica A. Clymer and Evan McGeever from Plumsteadville Fire Company; Ashley Pohle and James Babinetz from Point Pleasant Plumsteadville EMS; and Chris Rickert and Rachel Atler from Upper Bucks Regional EMS.

“Working as a team,” Phelan continued, “they were able to establish signs of life and transport the patient for emergency care at a hospital.”

All the first responders were honored at the meeting, which was attended by an overflow crowd.

Special thanks came in a heartfelt prepared presentation from Lloyd Jr. and his sister, Amy.

The younger Wenger said his father was not breathing and had no pulse when he and a coworker began CPR.

Amy continued for her brother, overcome with emotion, “the heroes started to arrive…a lot of them, it seemed like an army,” she said. They just kept coming down those basement stairs, all carrying their gear, all doing their part to help save Dad…lots of meds and shocks…more CPR…I thought Dad was gone.”

Then I heard ‘I got a pulse, it’s weak, but it’s there’.”

Amy continued with the trip to Doylestown Hospital, their dad’s awakening and a phone call they got a couple of days after the incident to see how things were going.

“They continued to show care and compassion, and put in extra hours when they didn’t have to, and go above and beyond what any of us would have expected,” she said. “Dad’s doing great! He’s got a state-of-the-art ICD, some new meds, and a fresh lease on life.”

In other business May 8, Phelan introduced new police chaplains Roger Schmell, of Deep Run Mennonite West Church, and Adam Mellor, of Renew Bible Church. They were sworn in by District Magistrate Gary Gambardella.

The chaplain program helps officers when they have difficult notifications to make to families, and is a resource for police officers to reach out to, on behalf of themselves or one of their own family members.

“This will add a level of protection (outside the chain of command) to the officers’ mental health,” Phelan said, “and help strengthen their resiliency in a profession that causes us to witness difficult situations.”

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