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Immediate Response Saves Life After Cardiac Arrest

Friday’s Heroes: AFD personnel and Aviation Police Officers

Albuquerque- Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry honored City of Albuquerque Aviation Police Officers and Albuquerque Fire Department personnel who worked together when an Aviation employee succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest. Through the quick action by Aviation Officers and AFD, the man was revived and was able to seek further medical attention. The heroic teamwork of Aviation Police and AFD personnel warrants them the title of this week’s Friday’s Heroes.

This past March, the Aviation Department Operations Manager, Scott Gwiazda suffered a major heart attack while in the reception area of the Albuquerque Sunport. Aviation Police Officers Sergeant Tim Esquibel and Officer Ernie Steele were the first to respond and found that Scott had stopped breathing and had no pulse. Officer Steele immediately started CPR as Sgt. Esquibel retrieved a nearby an AED and applied it to Scott to begin defibrillation. Sgt. Esquibel and Officer Steele worked to revive Scott until AFD arrived. Once AFD got on scene they continued administering CPR, oxygen, and lifesaving drugs. Through teamwork, AFD and Aviation Police were able to restore a Scott’s pulse. Scott was promptly transported to the UNMH trauma center where doctors gave a negative prognosis. He remained in a coma for two days and miraculously regained consciousness and rehabilitated at an outstanding rate.

UNMH Trauma personnel stated repeatedly that the only reason Scott survived was because of the immediate and sustained professional care that was provided by both Aviation Police and the Albuquerque Fire Department. Scott was released from the hospital eight days after the incident. The compassion and skill shown by both Aviation Police and AFD personnel saved Scott’s life and is an example of how CPR and AED training makes a difference between life and death.


Friday’s Heroes – AFD: Lt. Nick Wilson, Driver Ryan Lucero, Lt. Edward Padilla, Driver Edward Ortega, Firefighter Eric Jaramillo, Firefighter Erin Kay Brandow ; Aviation Police: Sgt. Tim Esquibel, Officer Ernie Stele