When Wisconsin Firefighters arrived in the town of Trenton, fire from a car fire had spread to a nearby home. And at that point, Veteran Firefighter Robert “Bob” Stanczyk felt fine. “Our fire officer on the truck came up, grabbed the nozzle, and I was backing him up,” Stanczyk said. About 10 minutes later, he went back to the truck.
Something was wrong with his right shoulder – maybe it was the heat.
“Got some water, climbed in the truck with the air conditioning and it wasn’t getting any better and possibly was getting a little worse,” he added. He called for EMTs, and the three who responded knew Bob well. They hooked him up to the EKG, and it wasn’t good.
“All of a sudden we’re looking at the monitor, and I’m looking, all of a sudden he goes “Danny, ‘we’ve got trouble’,” Firefighter/EMT Dan Powell said. They gave Bob oxygen and gave him questions to keep him alert. But on the way to the hospital, the 49-year-old’s condition worsened. “I think it was only five minutes and all of a sudden he looked at me and says, ‘man, am I lightheaded’,” Powell explained. “And he just stopped. It was just like his head went back, his eyes open, looking at you. And I was like, ‘oh, what the heck?’ And Tony says, holy crap heart attack! Let’s go.”
They did CPR, and eventually Bob was revived.
“Even talking about it today, you can still feel it’s overwhelming,” Powell said. At the hospital, Stanczyk went into surgery and is now back home with his wife and two children. “I’ll be forever grateful for it,” Stancyzk said. “You know, that thought never entered my mind that I’m in trouble cause we’re a volunteer department. I trust these guys with my life.” Stanczyk is looking forward to getting back on duty just after his check up with doctors in November.
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