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2008 Heartsaver Heroes

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Police Officer Earl Tuckman (Kenilworth):

On June 19, 2007, the Kenilworth Police Department received a report of a man down. Officer Earl Tuckman was first on the scene, discovering 50-year-old runner Daniel Kelly suffering from cardiac arrest. Earl administered CPR and applied a life-saving shock with an AED that was donated to the department by the Kenilworth United Fund. Daniel presented Earl with his Heartsaver Hero award.

Officers Joseph Matysik and David Pacheco (Downers Grove):

On Nov. 12, 2007, Downers Grove Police Officers Joseph Matysik and David Pacheco, responding to a report of an unresponsive male subject, found 66-year-old James Huber suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. The officers shocked James with an AED, saving his life. James, now in good health, has paid a visit to the Downers Grove Police Department to give his thanks. James presented Heartsaver Hero awards to Joseph and David.

Public Safety Officer Joseph Friedman (Glencoe):

On April 4, 2008, 75-year-old Ray Cimbalo collapsed while golfing at the Lake Shore Country Club. Officer Joseph Friedman applied an AED, saving Ray’s life. Ray presented Joseph with his award. The Cimbalo family also made a donation to the AED Fund.

Kevin Christianson and Misael Vallejo (Mt. Prospect/Chicago):

On Feb. 2, 2008, Paul Conde appeared to have fallen asleep during a visit to the Chicago Cultural Center. Realizing that something was amiss, an alert visitor asked for help. Kevin Christianson of the Mt. Prospect Fire Department started CPR while Misael Vallejo of the Chicago Cultural Center applied an AED, shocking Paul’s heart and saving his life. Paul and his son, Father Tom Conde, presented Kevin and Misael with their Heartsaver Hero awards.

Karen Brewer and Officer Anthony Polse (South Barrington):

On April 4, 2008, John Porter collapsed while attending a wake at Willow Creek Community Church. Karen Brewer called 911 and started CPR until South Barrington Police Officer Anthony Polse arrived on the scene and applied a life-saving shock with an AED. John started breathing on his own after the first shock. He is now recovering at home with his family.

Firefighter Gary Bloemker (Hamel):

On Feb. 2, 2006, Firefighter Gary Bloemker found 49-year-old Lorna Kay McGee unresponsive in her home. Gary applied three shocks with an AED and Lorna started breathing on her own.

Officer Mike Richardson and Security Guard Clenton Henderson (Chicago):

On May 11, 2007, during Looptopia, a retired police officer providing security suddenly collapsed. Officer Mike Richardson of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department witnessed the collapse and began CPR while Security Guard Clenton Henderson attached an AED. It took two shocks with the AED to save the man’s life.

Tisa Barry, Julee Brennan, Edie Segal (Des Plaines):

On June 28, 2006, Physical Therapist Edie Segal was working at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute in Des Plaines when a patient in the main lobby lost consciousness. With help from Tisa Barry, Edie started CPR while Julie Brennan brought an AED. After two shocks the man was breathing on his own.

Rich Keating and Ricky Lamb (Chicago):

On March 28, 2008, 47-year-old METRA employee John Margeas collapsed in his work truck. Colleagues Rich Keating and Ricky Lamb saw and immediately ran inside to get an AED. John was revived after one life-saving shock to the heart with the AED.

Connie and Steve Garner (Bloomington):

Connie and Steve Garner were waiting on a flight home at O’Hare International Airport when a flight attendant yelled for a doctor or nurse. Trained in AED usage, the Garners followed the flight attendant to the concourse where a man was having a seizure. Steve started CPR and Connie called for an AED. When the AED arrived, they applied the life-saving shock and the man immediately responded.

Scarlette Vega and John Mahoney (McKinley Park):

On June 19, 2007, Dan Kosierowski collapsed during a game of badminton at the Chicago Park District McKinley Park facility. Bystanders Scarlette Vega and John Mahoney started CPR and called 911. When Park District employees brought an AED, Scarlette applied one shock and Dan’s heart rhythm was restored.

Officer Gilbert Martinez (Chicago):

Aviation Police Officer Gilbert Martinez was dispatched to a parking lot where a man was having a heart attack. Thinking on his feet, Gilbert applied an AED and the man immediately started breathing on his own.

Officer Pelayo Garcia (Chicago):

Aviation Police Officer Pelayo Garcia arrived at O’Hare International Airport soon after receiving word that a man had collapsed. He and another officer applied an AED and the man immediately started to breathe on his own.

Mary Rittler and Mended Hearts at Central DuPage Hospital (Winfield):

When Joseph McCarthy died in 2004, his wife, Geraldine, established a memorial fund to raise money for AEDs. More than $5,000 was collected and donated to Mended Hearts at Central DuPage Hospital. Mended Hearts purchased the first AED for Joe’s church, St. Mark’s Parish in Wheaton. The second went to St. Michael’s Parish in Wheaton, which was the church of Dan Rittler, president of Mended Hearts. When Dan died suddenly in 2006, his widow, Mary, continued the good works of the McCarthy Fund, asking friends and families to donate money for AEDs in lieu of flowers. Again, more than $5,000 was raised. AEDs were placed at Corpus Christi Parish in Carol Stream, Grace Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn and St. John the Baptist Parish in Winfield.

Lieutenant Bill Burkhart (Gurnee):

Lieutenant Bill Burkhart of the Gurnee Fire Department makes a constant effort to teach his community how to save lives. Bill has a program that reaches out to schools and local businesses and offers certification classes in CPR, First Aid, and AED training. Bill and the Gurnee Fire Department trained 1,286 people in live-saving techniques last year alone.

American Heart Association Instructor Gary Salvador (Sugar Grove):

Gary Salvador’s commitment to the American Heart Association mission of reducing deaths due to heart disease is obvious by the quality of his classes and his willingness to teach. Gary has been teaching CPR at Waubonsee Community College since 2002, and in that time he has issued more 2,000 CPR cards through the AHA Healthcare Provider and Heartsaver programs.

Captain Richard Dalitto, (Melrose Park):

Knowing how important it is to have AEDs readily accessible, Captain Richard Dalitto of the Melrose Park Fire Department has gone above and beyond to place the life-saving devices throughout the Village of Melrose Park. He has obtained financing for the AEDs and personally purchased and installed them so that the Fire Department, Police Department and other places throughout the village have AEDs.

Mayor John Noak (Romeoville):

Last month, the Village of Romeoville passed an ordinance that will require AEDs as well as staff trained in CPR and AED application at village buildings, business establishments and public places throughout the village. That means an additional 500 AEDs and 1,500 CPR/AED trained individuals in Romeoville.

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia and Mr. Vernon LaVia (Aurora):

The Illinois House and Senate Chambers each have an accessible AED on the wall thanks to a generous donation from Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia and Mr. Vernon LaVia.