Firefighters save one of their own

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An unnamed firefighter who suffered a heart attack while exercising was saved by several members of his own station last weekend.

About 15 crew members from the Mount Vernon and Penn Daw stations were doing routine physical fitness training in Huntley Meadows park on the afternoon of Saturday, June 30.  They discovered a fellow Penn Daw firefighter had collapsed around 3 p.m.

Firefighters on the scene performed CPR, and additional rescue workers summoned to the scene used an automatic external defibrillator (AED), which restarted the mans heart. En route to Mount Vernon hospital, he regained consciousness.

Department officials could not comment on the firefighters current condition, citing the patients wishes for privacy. His name and years of service with the county are also being kept confidential.

Fairfax Fire and Rescue spokesman Lt. Raul Castillo said that it was fortunate for the victim that he was in very capable hands, and that proper medical equipment was available quickly.

Members at the Penn Daw station also referred inquiries about the incident to headquarters.

According to an analysis by the U.S. Fire Administration, heart attacks account for the largest portion of on-duty fatalities. Of the approximately 100 firefighter fatalities each year, 44 percent of those were attributed to heart attack, nearly double the figure for trauma- or fire-related deaths.

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