Richfield firefighters save paramedic after heart attack on call - Fox 2 News Headlines

Firefighters awarded for saving paramedic suffering hour-long heart attack

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HCMC paramedic Wayne Schneider HCMC paramedic Wayne Schneider

Like many professionals in his line of work, Chuck Russell has mixed feelings about receiving an award for saving a life -- but he and his colleagues are being honored for saving a fellow lifesaver in December.

"You know, this is our daily job. This is what we do, and it's nice to be recognized every once in a while, but you know, I'm a firefighter. This is just what I do," Russell said.

Hennepin County is honoring Russell -- along with fellow Richfield firefighters Dave Quebodeaux, Steve Paszkiewicz, and Joel Halaska -- for their lifesaving work.

"I was an unwilling participant and everyone else did their job," quipped Wayne Schneider, a Hennepin County paramedic. "They're the ones that need to be recognized for this -- but again, this is something they do every single day."

Schneider was out on a call last December when he had a heart attack that lasted longer than an hour.

"Sixty-eight minutes from the time I went into cardiac arrest until they got pulses back in the stab room at Hennepin County Medical Center," Schneider explained.

Schneider told FOX 9 News he was kept alive by a device known as the Lucas 2, which can perform chest compressions indefinitely while responders tend to other things, like transportation.

"Imagine the manpower to have people compressing his chest for 68 minutes," Russell said.

In light of the fact that Schneider survived so long without damage -- and that a paramedic needed saving, Russell said he realizes what makes the incident award-worthy.

"A few years ago -- before we got the Lucas, I do not believe it would have turned out this way," Schneider told FOX 9 News.

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