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Firefighters Save the Life of One of their Own

Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized on Friday two firefighters who provided emergency medical attention to a retired firefighter who was having a heart attack.

This week’s Friday’s Heroes are Lieutenant Richard Barela and Lieutenant Michael Ramsay. Each week Mayor Berry honors at least one public safety employee for going beyond the call of duty in performing their work.

Ramsay and Barela were called to the home of Henry Chavez, a retired firefighter who had called 911 when he and his wife realized he was having a heart attack. The lieutenants are assigned to fire station 21 and were dispatched on the emergency call.

Upon their arrival, they provided immediate, lifesaving medical attention to the patient. They stabilized him, started an IV and Mr. Chavez was taken by ambulance to the hospital. In the emergency room, he had three episodes of Bradycardia where his heart rate dropped to 29. The doctors found three clogged arteries and were able to restore blood flow through the blocked arteries with a stent, which will help to prevent the arteries from becoming narrowed or blocked again in the months or years to come.

The doctors told Mr. Chavez that the AFD paramedics prevented permanent heart damage with their quick treatment and by convincing him to go to the hospital.

Being a trained firefighter himself, the Mr. Chavez indicated that he was impressed with the treatment he received. “I feel that I survived my heart attack because of the actions taken, and skills preformed, by these men on that day,” Mr. Chavez said.

“The lieutenants not only stabilized the patient but they also ensured he received the follow up medical attention he so desperately needed. This is evidence of what incredible work the men and women of AFD do on a regular basis,” Mayor Berry said.

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