“I don’t know what happened once I passed out in the ER, but what I do know for sure is if it wasn’t for the fast, skillful work of Erik (Alter-Reitz, a firefighter/paramedic) and Tyler (Ruiz, an engineer) and the guys at the Bonsall fire station (Station 5 of the North County Fire Protection District), I wouldn’t be here today,” said Linda Josef of Fallbrook.
She was referring to an incident that took place while she and her husband were driving to the hospital’s emergency room, when her world changed. Linda told her husband that she was beginning to “feel funny”; so, her husband decided to turn into the fire station to seek help. The District’s medical team at the fire station immediately took steps to assess Linda’s condition, put her in an ambulance, and headed for a hospital in Oceanside, with her husband following behind in their family car.
Within moments of leaving the fire station, her condition deteriorated. Erik immediately began to administer the appropriate emergency medical care, including nitroglycerin and inserting IV’s in order to minimize the time needed to save Linda’s life when they reached the hospital’s Emergency Room; Tyler hit the lights and sirens…did a U-turn…and headed to the Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. When they arrived at their destination, the hospital’s entire medical team was there, waiting for their arrival.
Within moments of arriving at the ER, it was “lights out” for Linda; it was a “code blue” event, she explains. “After I was revived, I was sent to the Catheterization Lab, where my right coronary artery was stented; it had become 100% blocked and without immediate help…I would not have survived.”
“They (Erik and Tyler), along with all of the ER people at the hospital have given me a second birth date,” Linda concludes. “The citizens of Fallbrook are so fortunate to have Erik, Tyler, and the rest of the Bonsall fire station crew here to help us in times of need.”