24 First Responders Get Recognized For Rare Number of Cardiac Arrests

Karl Spaulding recalls the day he almost lost his life.

"It was a really hot day," Spaulding said. "I had been working outside for several hours."

So does the woman who helped keep his life: Christine Vesley, First EMS Lieutenant, part of the Rothschild Fire Department for seven years.

"It was just a normal day," Vesley said. "Until we were almost done with our shift, and we got called out for a gentleman with chest pain."

The Emergency Department Staff from Ministry Saint Clare's gathered with the Rothschild Fire Department Wednesday, at the Rothschild Village Hall, honored 24 first responders for an impressive six months where four cardiac arrests happened.

The fact that two of them happened on the same day is almost unheard of.

"We just kind of stop thinking and start doing our jobs," Vesley said.

Ministry health Care Dr. Michael Clark said less than 8 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.

"The longer somebody's been in cardiac arrest," Dr. Clark said. "The less likely we are to get them back without CPR."

The importance of CPR was stressed Wednesday night, especially performing it faster and shocking the body quicker to keep patients alive so families can stay whole.
and keeping families whole ...

"This is the greatest feeling in my life," Vesley said. "My daughter thinks I'm a hero because of this."

"My family thinks the EMTs are heros too," Spaulding said.

Saving lives might be routine for the first responders.

"This is really special to come and meet the people who do this as a routine," Spaulding said. "It wasn't a routine for me, it's really special."

But their heroic acts are something that will keep a day Spaulding will never forget forever in his heart.

"I thought I appreciated life prior to this," Spaulding said. "It seems even more special now."

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