CAPE CARTERET, CARTERET COUNTY - Most heart attack victims that undergo complete cardiac arrest don't survive but one Carteret County man did thanks to immediate CPR. Now one local fire department is using his story to help start a hands on movement about the importance of quick action.
Dan Riddle is the survivor. He had the heart attack at the Cape Carteret Aquatic & Wellness Center in Cape Carteret. Quick thinking by the staff and owner, Deanna Mcelmon saved his life.
Emergency crews arrived quickly to the scene and shocked Riddle with a defibrillator. They say Mcelmon's quick actions saved Riddle's life. Responders tell us any action to keep the blood flowing through the heart increases survival rates.
"Even if they don't know how to do it all the way you can at least pump on their chest." says first responder Jeremy Misenhelder.
After surprising Mcelmon with an award Monday morning, Assistant Chief of EMS Operations at Western Carteret Fire and EMS Department Ingrid Meyers explained how they are hoping Riddle's story is helping a new CPR awareness initiative in western Carteret County.
"It's called Kick Start My Heart," says Meyers.
The Kick Start Your Heart program aims to get defibrillators in as many west Carteret buildings and businesses as possible. Staff plans to hold CPR training courses at the Western Carteret Fire Department. Meyers says she also plans on doing quick training classes on the street. Meyers says Fire Department staff would station outside of grocery stores to ask people if they wanted a two-minute course on CPR.
"We want to reduce the fear of getting involved, and that's my primary goal," says Meyers.
In Riddle's case, CPR changed his life. Mcelmon says even though she was trained in CPR almost 20 years ago, Riddle's rescue was the first time she has had to use it.