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Life saved: Firefighters recognized for reviving man after heart attack

Firefighters recognized for reviving man after heart attack

December 14, 2007
By Lorne Ulley

Five members of the St-Paul de I’Ile-aux-Noix Fire Department in Quebec were honoured recently after a life was saved by their actions during a first responder medical call that was also an MVA: Fire Director Daniel Gamache and firefighters Daniel Boisvert, Raymond Fortin, Yves Allard and Gillies Lord.

The department received the call at 5:30 p.m. on May 23, 2003. It was a Priority 1 medical call, coded Charlie 1, indicating a male suffering chest pains and having trouble breathing. Dispatched was the first responder unit.

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PHOTO BY ANNICK BOURQUE
Five fire fighters who saved a life in 2003 were presented with recognition certificates and pins recently. From left, Fire Fighter Daniel Boisvert, Director Daniel Gamache, Fire Fighter Raymond Fortin and Fire Fighter Yves Allard. Missing from photo is Fire Fighter Gillies Lord.

While the unit was en route, the call became coded as a 29-B-1 – a motor vehicle accident, with injuries reported. The pumper with the hydraulic rescue tools and the rescue unit were then sent to the scene.

Upon arrival at the scene, the team under the command of Gamache found they had a male victim on the ground, alongside a car that had struck a hydro pole adjacent to the highway. No one else was in the vehicle and the extrication equipment was not required. The victim was lying on the ground and turning blue. He had shallow breathing and a citizen already on scene was attempting CPR.

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The responders’ first step was to hook up their automatic external defibrillator (AED) to the victim and get a reading. The defib indicated that a shock was necessary and this was administered. This helped restore the victim’s breathing as his heart action stabilized. Oxygen was then given.

By this time the area’s ambulance arrived. The victim was packaged and then transported to the hospital. One first responder, Fire Fighter Allard, accompanied the victim in the ambulance, working with its crew to monitor the patient.
The victim, aged 58, survived a serious heart attack thanks to the work of the first responders and was subsequently fitted with a pacemaker.

In a ceremony during the official opening of St-Paul’s No. 2 station, the five received life-saving certificates as well life-saving pins presented by Sylvain Blanchard of Reanimation Sauve Vie, the company that provided the AED training.