The Murrieta Fire Department honored three men who sprung into action to help save the life of a local man on July 11 after he suffered a severe heart attack.
Fire Station 2 in Murrieta was teeming with firefighters, families and reporters who came to hear the selfless and brave efforts of three men who rendered aid when Ed Posada, 64, suffered a heart attack, collapsed and stopped breathing at St. Martha’s Parish where he was attending a meeting.
Posada looked on through teary eyes as the three men were presented with American Heart Saver Awards for their heroic efforts.
Mickey Burnett, Herman Espinoza and John Clingingsmith had no idea they would be called into life-saving action that fateful night in July.
“The company I work for trains us in CPR,” Herman Espinoza said. “I saw that Mr. Posada needed help and my instinct and focus kicked in to start CPR.”
As Espinoza choked back tears, he said he feels he was put in the right place at the right time.
“I thank God I was there,” he said quietly.
Posada was too choked up to speak, however his wife, Marie addressed the crowd.
“There is no way you can truly thank someone who gave 41 years back to you,” Marie said. “These three men stepped out of the box to help save my husband’s life.”
She added since her husband survived the heart attack, they have celebrated an anniversary, her birthday and look forward to their son’s wedding in January.
“No longer does CPR have to entail lengthy classes and mouth to mouth contact,” Murrieta fire emergency medical coordinator Art Durbin explained. “The American Heart Association now offers a quick online tutorial that takes about five minutes and focuses on chest compressions.”
Fire Chief Matt Shobert explained that many times people brush off the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
“It really is a life or death situation,” Chief Shobert emphasized.
There was another man in the audience, Don Hill, who was saved on July 3, after suffering a heart attack at home in Murrieta. He too survived thanks to lifesaving CPR.
“As a bystander, CPR is imperative,” Durbin said.
Signs of a heart attack include:
- Pressure or a feeling of fullness in the chest.
- Pain that spreads to shoulder, arm or even the jaw and teeth.
- A sense of impending doom.
- Fainting or light-headedness
- Abdominal pain.
- unusual or unexplained fatigue.
“It’s better to error on the side of caution when dealing with these symptoms,” Chief Shobert said.
For more information please visit: American Heart Associaton.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.