East Lake first responders honored for saving life

EAST LAKE - Oftentimes the thanks given to those that spend their lives making sure the rest of us are safe is a sincere but assumed gratitude.East Lake resident Charles Laughlin wanted to do something a little more personal.Eight days after suffering a heart attack, Laughlin, 66, attended last week's East Lake Fire Commission meeting to publicly thank the East Lake Fire Rescue paramedics that saved his life.Laughlin came to Station 56 with his wife and daughter, stating that it is because of the East Lake crew of Lt. Mike Porch, paramedic Rick Wendling and driver engineer Steve Wagner that he is still alive.According to the East Lake Fire Rescue's account of events, Laughlin's harrowing experience occurred May 20.He called his wife, who was at their daughter's home in Seminole, to say he thought he might be having a heart attack. The Laughlins' daughter, Michelle Keglor, a registered nurse, stayed on the phone with her father as her daughter called 911.Shortly after first responders arrived, Laughlin became unresponsive and stopped breathing. Paramedics performed CPR and used a defibrillator to restore Laughlin's heartbeat, then provided medication to keep his heart from returning to a lethal rhythm.The fire department credited Keglor with keeping her father focused until paramedics arrived on scene.An audio version of the May 28 board of commissioners meeting can be accessed by going to www.eastlakefirerescue.com.
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