HFD Survivor Reunions

Unfortunately it's not to often that first responders to emergency scenes can witness happy endings. That's one of the reasons why the Houston Fire Department holds reunions with survivors. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker reports.

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One of those reunions was held today for Wayne Revis who survived a cardiac arrest with the help of HFD EMS.47-year Revis only remembers coming home from work and resting on the coach. He remembers nothing about the cardiac arrest, the frantic calls to 9-1-1, or the paramedics arriving on the scene.

"This is the first time I've had a chance to see the faces and put names with the faces and I'm going to be forever grateful to these guys. You know, I love them all. They do an outstanding job and words just can't really explain what I'd like to say except thank you and I'm very grateful."

Assanne Mbengue has been a firefighter for four years and a paramedic for two. This was the first call he's had with a happy ending.

"This is something we trained all the time, everyday, we got books, we got videos, we got skills practice we do all the time everyday so this was really an opportunity for us to put it in practice and really see that it works."

HFD Assistant Medical Director George Kiss says the department responds to about 3,000 cardiac arrest calls a year.

"We only resuscitate, unfortunately, about 20 percent of the people who go into cardiac arrest for a variety of reasons. So it's really important for the firefighters and the paramedics to see when we do have a successful resuscitation."

Revis' wife Cindy says the reunions help the families as well.

"Wayne doesn't remember any part of it and for us to tell him is not as real as something like this. The real people that really worked on him, they let him know what they did and now maybe he can understand the impact of what we went through."

It took a couple of days for doctors to find Revis' blockage in his heart and he underwent surgery to have a stent put in and he will be on medication for the rest of his life. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

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