Paramedics save woman's life at Taste

July 2, 2009 (CHICAGO) The woman, a tourist from Arizona, had apparently suffered a heart attack.

An ordinary day for paramedics Michael Guerin and Elvis Falbo turned extraordinary while on-duty at the Taste.

"Nothing can be more rewarding than saving someone's life," said Falbo.

And that happened about 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

At the Taste, several light poles are marked to help first responders. On Thursday, a 911 call came in for pole B-3. A 52-year-old woman was having a heart attack.

"We found a bystander performing CPR. My partner and I got our equipment and we told her to continue," said Falbo.

They grabbed their defribulator and shocked the woman's heart. They say she was at death's door.

"She was there. Probably the white light was drawing her in," said Falbo.

The bike team and other first responders loaded her onto a med-cart using CPR to breathe life back into her.

"We started to get a weak and thready pulse. As we continued the pulse came back stronger and stronger," said Falbo.

"She was starting to come around and her first words were, 'where am I?'" said Guerin.

She was alive. Even though paramedics respond to more than 15 medical emergencies every day at the Taste, the incident seemed special.

"I've been a paramedic for 15 years. I think this is the third time where we actually got a save. So this is a real spectacular day for us," said Guerin.

It was spectacular and gratifying.

"Today is just another cherry on the big pie of life," said Guerin.

"We could have had a disastrous outcome. But we turned it around. She can enjoy another day and her family, and so on, and go on," said Falbo.

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