Saving Lives. It’s What They Do


On Wednesday, the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department recognized five of its members with what’s called a Pre-Hospital Save Award. In March the FMBFD team responded to a call of 65-year-old male having a heart attack with active heart muscle death occurring. The sprung into action.

The team quickly used their tools and technology and identified the man’s condition, notified the hospital about the patient, and initiated rapid life-saving treatment and transport. The patient lost consciousness and went into full cardiac arrest. The firefighters then got the patient’s heart beating again.

The patient was received at the hospital and stabilized. He regained consciousness, started talking to the crew, and ultimately walked out of the hospital with no permanent disabilities or deficits. And, that’s because of the work the FMBFD team did.

When the heart stops beating, there are only a few moments to act quickly until a permanent neurological injury occurs. To further complicate matters, this patient’s heart was in a dangerous, non-life sustaining electrical rhythm; for every minute the heart remains in this rhythm, survival odds are reduced by 20%.

Congratulations to (Left to Right) Driver-Engineer Joseph DeCastro, Driver-Engineer Tate Sturtevant, Paramedic/Firefighter Ryan Fischer, EMT/Firefighter Patrick Ahern and Lieutenant Bradly Hartman, who’s not pictured. He was on scheduled leave.

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