Erlanger kicks off EMS Week - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Erlanger kicks off EMS Week

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Emergency medical service professionals are on the front lines of saving lives. On Friday some first responders were recognized for the lives they've touched over the past year.

"Technology is now allowing us to save individuals in the field where as five, 10, 15 years ago that wouldn't be possible," said Tennessee State Senator Bo Watson.

As Watson pointed out, technology can't replace the human beings who react when life is on the line. Many of those first responders from around the region were recognized for their life saving efforts, as EMS week kicked off at Erlanger.

Robbie Tester with Life Force said, "These men and women are very trained and they provide a life saving attribute to the community. If you don't get aid to someone who isn't breathing to someone in the first five minutes the chances of survival are less than 50 percent"

Which was exactly the case for Bradley County EMS who was honored on Friday. In January of 2012 they took a call that almost meant certain death.

"When we arrived there, he was clinically dead," said first responder Marisol Burke.

Luckily Rubbermaid employees were administering CPR to better David Simmonds chances. After nearly 20 minutes Burke and her team revived a pulse.

A week later Burke was still in shock.

"When I was able to see the patient, it was amazing to see he fully recovered. We talked to him and to actually see life in his eyes."

Their story isn't alone and as a former first responder Erlanger President CEO Kevin Spiegal was first in line to congratulate.

"It's really exciting because they put themselves in harms way for us. Today is a time to really salute them for what they do for our community," said Spiegal.

It's also another reminder to talk to your business about purchasing AED's and becoming CPR certified.

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