Naperville Cardiac Arrest Survivors Meet Their Rescuers

Tears and hugs were shared as several Naperville community members who suffered cardiac arrest this past year, were able to meet with the men and women who helped save their lives.

The first annual survivors banquet, hosted by the Naperville Fire Department was an emotional evening at Meson Sabika.

Survivors Grateful For Emergency Personnel

One Naperville resident who suffered a stroke last November was thankful to those who helped save his life.

“There was a lot of things that had to line up just right for this to work, but I’m very grateful for the fire department and City of Naperville to have the foresight to do this,” said James Calhoun.

Several other Naperville residents met their rescuers, and presented them with a life saving award and a challenge coin on behalf of the fire department.

Naperville Fire Department Happy to Do Their Job

It was a proud moment for Jim Anderson, who actually was one of the emergency personnel who helped Calhoun when he suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of his stroke.

“It means a lot. It’s good to see that we’re moving forward and not just staying stagnant. These changes are obviously positive its affecting peoples’ outcomes in way that we haven’t seen before,” said Firefighter and Paramedic Jim Anderson.

New Cardiac Arrest Protocol

Those changes that Anderson referred to is a new method Naperville emergency crews use when responding to a cardiac arrest call.

The Advanced Cardiac Restoration Protocol also uses an electronic device for CPR.

“It’s called the Zoll Autopulse, and what that does is we hook up the patient up to it and it does chest compression for us,” said Firefighter and Paramedic Chris Garon. “It’s really great because it frees up our hands to other skills in a timely fashion.”

Since implementing their new method last November the Naperville Fire Department has saved 12 lives, which is double the amount from 2016.

Touching Moment

Calhoun’s wife says her husband wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the fire department making the switch.

“I’m just really grateful because since that day in November I’ve had a son graduate from college, [and] my daughter got engaged. There’s been a lot of good family stuff. I’m happy to have my husband here,” said Cindy Calhoun.

The night ended fittingly, with a hand for those who gave a helping one.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.

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