A volunteer firefighter from Burke County, North Carolina is recovering at home after his heart stopped while fighting a fire. His fellow firefighters at the scene saw his collapse and worked to save his life. The firefighters led a procession Monday for volunteer firefighter David Hart, who just got out of the hospital.
Hart arrived in a pumper rescue truck and was working to get water to the fire when he collapsed near the fire apparatus. Neighbors could see firefighters scrambling to help.
“It scared us,” said neighbor Sandi Stiles. “We didn’t really know what was going on. And we started praying.”
Neighbors said the firefighters began working together — some on the fire, while others tried to save their colleague, whose heart had stopped.
“As soon as my captain cut his shirt, I started chest compressions while my assistant chief did ventilation,” said Amanda Buff with Chesterfield Fire.
The fire trucks at Chesterfield Fire are equipped with portable defibrillators. That, along with their CPR training done earlier this year, is being credited with saving David Hart’s life.
“CPR keeps the heart pumping blood when it stops. Defibrillators restart them,” said Chesterfield Fire Capt. T.J. Robinson.
Hart spent three days in the hospital.
“Stay with us. That’s pretty much what was going through my mind as well as everyone else’s,” said Asst. Chief Jeremy Cooke. “We were doing the best we could to get him back.”
The firefighters are encouraging people to consider CPR training, saying it could save a loved one.