The Greeley Fire Department (GFD) recognized the lifesaving actions of 17 people at a small, special ceremony Oct. 27.
Earlier this month a Greeley Recreation Center patron, Tom Crawford, experienced sudden cardiac arrest while playing basketball. He survived thanks to the quick actions of his friends and teammates, the facility staff, Weld County Regional Communications, Greeley paramedics and firefighters, and medical staff.
“I’m blessed to be here today,” Crawford said.
One of the biggest factors for surviving sudden cardiac arrest is how much time it takes for someone to start receiving care—such as CPR or the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
People around Crawford acted quickly and by the time crew got him into the ambulance, he was speaking, Fire Chief Brian Kuznik said at the ceremony.
“It takes a village to save a life,” he said.
At the ceremony, Kuznik recognized 17 people.
City of Greeley staff:
- Armando Asseiss
- Megan Miller
- Brecklyn Everhart
- Jose Rentas
- Alyssa Rodriguez
Community members and facility patrons:
- Dave Christiansen
- Bill Martinez
- Dean Stumpf
- Larry Lawton
- Jim Connelly
Greeley Fire Department – Ladder 1 B Shift:
- Lt. Matt Hawkins
- Engineer Chad Getting
- Firefighter Colton Adams
- Firefighter Pat McCarthy
UCHealth (UCH) – Medic 16:
- Jose Rios-Ochoa - EMT B
- Gail Stallings - Paramedic
Weld County Regional Communications:
- Michelle Jones – Dispatcher
Heart Safe City
About 10 years ago City of Greeley, Greeley Fire Department, Banner Paramedics, CardioVascular Institute of North Colorado at North Colorado Medical Center (NCMC), and the NCMC Foundation officials established a vision to become a Heart Safe City.
The Heart Safe City designation, sponsored by the American Heart Association, is a community-wide effort to educate communities on the dangers of sudden cardiac arrest. Identifying symptoms, learning how to administer CPR, and AEDs are major components of the Heart Safe City designation.
In 2013, that vision became a reality when the City of Greeley achieved the Heart Safe City designation.
To date, and primarily through grants and donations led and supported by the NCMC Foundation and several other organizations, there are nearly 90 AEDs in the Greeley community and hundreds of people have been trained to provide CPR.
Kuznik thanked Kaiser Permanente for the donation of the AED used in the lifesaving action.
Greeley Fire Department statistics
The Greeley Fire Department responds to thousands of calls each year.
This year so far—January through Oct. 20, 2022:
- Total Calls for Service – 14,128
- Total EMS Calls for Service – 12,144—this will ultimately make up about 75-80% of all calls for service
- Total Transports – 7,960—number of transports to the hospital by UCH
- Total Emergent Transports – 503—number of transports requiring an emergent response to the hospital
- GFD and UCH responded to 67 calls involving sudden cardiac arrest
- AEDs have been deployed five times prior to arrival of the fire department and emergency medical services
- Bystander CPR was documented as being performed 23 times prior to GFD and EMS arrival.
Greeley Recreation offers heart saver first aid and CPR training. Find out more online at https://greeleyrec.com/program/heart-saver-first-aid-cpr/
Photo courtesy of the City of Greeley
Fire Chief Brian Kuznik recognized the lifesaving actions of 17 people at a small, special ceremony Oct. 27, at Greeley Fire Station 1.