On Sept. 16, the Eureka Fire Protection District responded to a call of a man with chest pain.

When the team arrived, they found the man had gone into cardiac arrest. The paramedics began CPR and defibrillated the patient, restoring circulation.

Within one minute of the pulses returning, the paramedic team performed a pre-hospital EKG or 12-lead and determined the patient was having a heart attack. They notified SSM St. Clare Health Center that they were 20 minutes out and told them to activate the cardiac cath lab.

During the transport, the patient went into cardiac arrest two more times, being resuscitated and stabilized each time by the Eureka Fire paramedics. Upon arrival at SSM St. Clare, the emergency department and cath lab teams were waiting when the patient suffered a fourth cardiac arrest.

The emergency department staff was able to get pulses back once again and the patient was quickly moved to the cath lab for surgery where the blocked artery was opened and blood flow returned to normal flow to the heart.

The patient was discharged just a few days later to his home in Eureka, and has returned to work at Monsanto, where he is a chemist. The patient was reunited with the EMS crew, emergency department staff and cardiac Cath lab team who saved his life numerous times that day at SSM St. Clare Health Center.

He presented the Lifesaver Award to these teams and thanked them for saving his life.

The Eureka Fire Protection District, the 2012 Missouri Fire Department of the Year, serves the communities of Eureka, Wildwood, Allenton, Hoene Spring, Crescent, Southwest St. Louis County and Northern Jefferson County.