Cardiac arrest survivors thank people who saved them

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Rocky Gomez died on February 28, 2013.

"Essentially yea, flat lined, took my last breath, heart stopped," Gomez said. "It was complete."

He owes his life today to Grand Junction EMS personnel, who revived him after he went into cardiac arrest.

"It just means everything that they were there and how fast they responded," Gomez said. "We live five miles from them and they responded in seven minutes. That's pretty fast."

At the annual EMS luncheon, cardiac arrest survivors, like Gomez, had the opportunity to meet and thank the people who responded to their calls last year.

66 people were given Phoenix Awards for playing a role in reviving 10 people who were known to be in cardiac arrest in 2013.

"We don't get to see very many people who come away from this," said Brian Lurvey, a paramedic for the Grand Junction Fire Department. "It's a very small number, but it's very effective when you do it right."

Paramedics and firefighters from Grand Junction, Clifton and Plateau Valley along with Mesa County Sheriff's officers, dispatchers, care flight workers and bystanders received the awards.

"To me, it's just very heartening to help people when they need us the most," Lurvey said.

It's National EMS week, which is dedicated to recognizing what emergency responders do for the community every day.

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