Tallahassee Firefighters Save Tallahassee Man

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A matter of minutes turned out to be the difference between life and death for a Tallahassee man. Firefighters were able to revive him in time to get him to the hospital for treatment.

It happened Wednesday. Firefighters say a Tallahassee woman was driving down South Monroe on the way to the hospital when she turned to find her husband slumped over in the passenger seat. She pulled over and called 911.

Tallahassee firefighters heard the call. A Tallahassee police officer got there first.

Mike Bellamy, a Tallahassee Fire Department driver/operator, said, "TPD was doing mouth to mouth on him. He was unresponsive in full cardiac arrest. We took him out of the vehicle and hooked the AED to him and we were able to start an IV."

The man's breathing and heart beat returned. Bellamy says the ambulance arrived a few minutes later and rushed the man to the hospital. It all happened within a matter of what turned out to be precious minutes.

Nancy Herndon with TFD, EMS Division Chief, said, "There are scientific studies that show every minute of cardiac arrest, a patient’s chance of survival decreases by 10 percent."

The Tallahassee Fire Department began delivering Advanced Life Support in April of 2004 after a city-county agreement. Now, every fire truck and staff vehicle is equipped with an ALS system.

"On any given day we have 27 frontline apparatus, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Herndon says the man is still being treated and is showing tremendous effort. The department just received approval to add three more ALS vehicles from the committee that authorizes the certificate of need. The County Commission will have to give its stamp of approval next month.