Technology inside Lufkin ambulances gives survivors a new lease - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Technology inside Lufkin ambulances gives survivors a new lease on life

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

Heart attack survivor Carroll Johnsonshakes the hand of the paramedic who saved his life little over a month ago.

This is the first time the two haveofficially met, but Johnson says he'll never forget his time in the ambulance.

"I remember him saying to thedriver that we need to go ahead and get there," said Carroll Johnson,Heart attack survivor

37-year old Johnson was finishing upsome yard work when he felt severe chest pains.

"We initially arrived on scene itlooked as if he was mainly having some nausea," said Dezmond Garcia, FireFighter-Paramedic, Lufkin Fire Department.

 It wasn't until paramedics got him in theambulance that realized his condition was far more serious.

"We ran a 12 lead and basically saw thathe had some elevation," said Garcia.

The EKG allows paramedics to detectlife threatening arrhythmias before arriving to the ER.

"If we hadn't had that 12 leadmonitor, it would have been almost impossible to even detect the elevation,"said Garcia.

Knowledge of their condition givesdoctors time to prepare treatment for incoming patients.

"He could go straight to the Cathlab and be here today," said Stacy Garcia, Administrative Director, CriticalCare Services, Memorial Hospital

 Giving Johnson a new outlook on life.

 "Reality kind of sets in and itsdefinitely an eye opener, makes you change your ways, your ways of living. Iwas a smoker now I'm not so that's one of them, I'm eating differently so Ifeel a lot better now," said Johnson.

 The community's unsung heroes get to see how their work changes lives.

"I wasn't doing it to be a hero,I was basically doing my job and I really love my job," said Garcia.

The EKG was introduced to Lufkinambulances in July of 2010.

Officials say thetechnology has increased enhanced communication between first responders andhospitals officials.

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