LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– Three men got the chance to thank the first responders who saved their lives. All three suffered cardiac arrest before they were helped by Littleton Fire rescuers.
All three men suffered heart attacks in a 30-day span of each other and each time first responders helped revive them.
“Usually when the heart stops, it stays stopped,” said Littleton Fire Rescue EMS Captain Mike Simon.
Outside of hospital settings, only 9.5 percent of heart attack patients survive. Littleton Fire Rescue is averaging a 16 percent survival rating.
Victor Anderson was working around the house when he suffered a heart attack. He was clinically dead for 15 minutes over the course of several revivals by the paramedics.
“I could barely see some images of someone in front of me that I thought was working on me and then I just passed out,” said Anderson.
Bill Brewton was exercising when he started having chest pains and was clinically dead for two minutes.
“It makes you appreciate a lot of things,” said Brewton.
Michael Howell was sleeping when he went into cardiac arrest. Thankfully his wife started CPR before medics arrived.
“It takes a lot of people to pull us through,” said Howell.
“We can get their heart beating but because their brain took such a hit without oxygen they don’t survive to leave the hospital and the walk home,” said Simon.
Simon credits Littleton Fire’s above average rates of survival for heart attacks with good response times, good training and knowledgeable men and women.
“I feel very blessed to still be here today but I had all the confidence in the world in them,” said Howell.
Paramedics say call 911 right away and don’t hesitate, even if it’s a false alarm. They also recommend everyone learn CPR because those life-saving skills can drastically change the outcome.