It’s always nice to get recognized for a job well done. I’d imagine it means a little more when that job you did saved a life.
On Oct. 28, Michael Sailer came to Greenfield Fire Department Station 1 to personally thank several members of the department who responded to his home one week earlier.
The last time those firefighters/paramedics saw Sailer, he was on an emergency room gurney being rapidly prepped for heart surgery.
On Oct. 21, Greenfield paramedics Garret Cieczka and Chad Tremeling, Lieutenant Doug Tew, heavy equipment operator Dan Windler and firefighters/EMTs Trevor Paull, and Rick Shircel responded to a call from Sailer’s girlfriend who told them Sailer had been having severe shoulder pain for 30 minutes.
When firefighters arrived, Sailer, 53, was lying on his back in the middle of the living room. Sailer was having a heart attack.
While transporting Sailer to the ambulance, he temporarily had loss of consciousness, and once in the emergency room, he suffered momentary ventricular tachycardia rhythm, a rapid heart rhythm that can be life threatening.
One week later, Sailer and his girlfriend came to the fire station and recounted the moments after firefighters left. He remembered being in the catheterization lab but had vague memories of the procedure. He was later told by the cardiologist that his heart had stopped, requiring CPR and defibrillation.
Sailer was told he was shocked 17 times to correct what could have been a lethal heartbeat before the catheterization procedure was successfully performed.
And had it not been for the American Heart Association chain of survival — from the early recognition by his girlfriend to the rapid response and treatment by Greenfield personnel to the ER staff’s fast actions to the cardiac cath team doctors and nurses — Sailer would not be alive today.
And to that I say, job well done.