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Cardio doctor has heart attack, thanks CSFD paramedics for lifes - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Cardio doctor has heart attack, thanks CSFD paramedics for lifesaving help

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"I began to get weak. I began to get sick. I did not really have what you'd call chest pain. I felt bad in the chest."

Dr. John Conn, a cardiothoracic specialist, describes what he was feeling when he realized he was having a heart attack while out running errands. He pulled over and called his wife.

"She was the smartest one of all, she called 9-11."

Four minutes after the call, firefighters and paramedics with the Colorado Springs Fire Department arrived on scene, and Doctor Conn himself became the patient. Taking the lead was Paramedic Ski Stambaugh. “His trust was in my hands," Stambaugh said.

Stambaugh has been a firefighter and paramedic for nearly four decades. In that time the skill set has changed and expanded. "We're doing chest tubes, intubating patients, we're giving them cardiac medications. This is our specialty."

Doctor Conn described watching the treatment by paramedics. Paramedics took quick action shocking his heart.

"Clinically he was dead. There was no heart beat for about 20 seconds,” Stambaugh said.

Training and skills of paramedics with Colorado Springs Fire Department are supervised by Medical Director Dr. Stein Bronsky. He is an emergency physician who says paramedics are now an extension of what happens in the Emergency Department at hospitals. -- a skill level most people in the community may not realize.

Now, months after the emergency the two men are meeting, with both of them standing up in good health. Asked about their first encounter, Dr. Conn said with a smile, “I’m glad I did meet him on that day.” He thanked Stambaugh and said he wants others to recognize the lifesaving medical skill of local emergency responders.

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