LOS ANGELES - On Tuesday May 1, 2018, the Los Angeles Fire Department honored two very talented firefighter paramedics, Steven Hopkins and Jose Perez, for a Cardiac Arrest save on a “running track” in Studio City.
The incident took place in September 2017, at 6:30 a.m., where a 72 y/o man was performing his morning routine that he has done for 15 years, jogging on the running track at Harvard Westlake High School in Studio City. He completed his run and while on his cooldown lap, collapsed. Fortunately a nearby groundskeeper witnessed his fall, recognized he was not conscious, immediately began Hands-Only CPR and called 911.
Simultaneously at Fire Station 78, members were making shift relief where Steve and Jose were beginning their morning routine that they have done for years, checking out their equipment, as the tones go off dispatching the Light Force and Paramedic Rescue to a Cardiac Arrest call.
LAFD members quickly arrived on-scene to find the patient on the ground, still pulseless, not breathing, in cardiac arrest.
Steve and Jose, along with the invaluable assistance of Light Force 78, took over CPR, determined he was in a lethal heart rhythm called Ventricular Fibrillation, started an IV to deliver the appropriate drugs (Epinephrine and Amiodarone), and delivered two electrical shocks.
The patient was rapidly transported to Saint Joseph Medical Center, and due to our firefighters excellent efforts the patient had a return of pulses, and stable vital signs before they arrived to the hospital. Even better yet the patient was released from the hospital one week later, with no deficits.
We would be remiss if we did not mention the critical role bystander-CPR played in this successful outcome. Many are surprised to learn that each year, more than 350,000 out-of- hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of those people die. However CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. We are proud to state that our own LAFD Community Risk Reduction Unit provided CPR and AED training to over 2,000 residents along with providing monthly classes throughout the city.
Firefighter / Paramedic Hopkins and Perez are just two of our 1,227 certified LAFD paramedics that daily strive to achieve Fire Chief Terrazas #1 Strategic Goal, "Provide Exceptional Public Safety and Emergency Service".
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