On Thursday, Aug. 3 at approximately 3:30 a.m. Don Lambert’s wife Jackie called 911 to report her husband was having a heart attack.
While 911 dispatchers gave her instructions to begin CPR the Bald Hills Fire Department volunteers were being dispatched. Responding to the scene, EMTs found Jackie performing CPR on her husband. Fire department personnel took over CPR and used the automatic external defibrillator to shock Don.
After paramedics arrived they also shocked Don before he started to respond. Paramedics transported him to the hospital where he survived without any noticeable defects and was later released from the hospital.
Thurston County has the second-highest success rate for cardiac arrest (heart attack) in the nation. Overseen by Thurston County Medic One, all EMS providers have learned a regimented procedure to confront patients suffering from a heart attack. Jackie said she saw a well-oiled machine take over when the fire department arrived and she is grateful for the volunteers that helped save her husband.
Jackie is also credited for starting CPR early on as this is the most significant action that contributed to her husband’s survival. Don and Jackie stopped by the fire station the following Tuesday to thank the firefighters and EMTs that helped save Don. Kurt Hardin, director of Medic One and Annalee Drewery, BLS program coordinator, and Cindy Hambly, recently retired BLS coordinator, attended the meeting to recognize the fire department members for their efforts in the successful save of Don from a cardiac event.
Fire department members Patti Frost, Lt. Erin Burgman, Chief Mark Gregory and Jackie received a special pin for recognition of their selfless efforts to provide CPR in Don’s time of need. The dispatcher and the paramedics who responded will also receive pins.
The Bald Hills Fire Department and many local departments are constantly looking for citizens interested in becoming volunteers to help their community. CPR and First-Aid classes can be found by contacting your local fire department. The life you save could be someone you care about.