January 21, 2019 was a routine Monday for Will Beall. The fit and trim 47 year-old screenwriter, who had served 10 years as an LAPD Officer, was fast at work on the second floor of his Pacific Palisades office building, when he began experiencing severe chest pain - and called 911.
LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic Dispatcher Christopher Sandoval answered his call, and within 48 seconds had six responders on their way while he provided Beall with essential pre-arrival medical instructions.
The Los Angeles Fire Department crew of Engine 69, including Captain Anthony Valdez, Engineer Timothy Togneri, Firefighters Daniel Garcia and Douglas Peterman; as well as Rescue Ambulance 69, staffed by Firefighter/Paramedics Robert Miller and Octavio Silveyra, were available at the fire station less than a half-mile away when the alarm bell rang.
In a matter of moments, those six responders were down the block and up the staircase at the office building to be at Mr. Beall's side.
Recognizing their patient's significant level of medical distress, the six veteran LAFD members worked swiftly and seamlessly in initiating advanced life support care as a team, wisely using a stair chair to provide a stress-free journey to the awaiting ambulance, where the pair of LAFD Paramedics maintained a close watch over Mr. Beall with state-of-the-art medical equipment and decades of prehospital care experience.
While driving smoothly with emergency lights and siren to a hospital uniquely prepared to manage his specific cardiac emergency, things sadly took a turn-for-the-worse. Mr. Beall suddenly became unresponsive, with his electrocardiogram (EKG) displaying highly dangerous ventricular tachycardia - and within moments - death invoking ventricular fibrillation.
Instructing their Firefighter colleague to quickly pull the ambulance to the side of the road, the team rapidly and repeatedly defibrillated their patient - a staggering thirteen times - while CPR was continued into the emergency room. Shortly after the patient’s arrival at the hospital, he had a return of spontaneous circulation.
The staff at the hospital overtly indicated that if not for the actions taken by all seven LAFD members: accurate dispatch, early recognition of a critical patient, immediate application of advanced life support care with proper treatment protocols, selecting the most appropriate hospital for that cardiac issue, and of course their intrepid teamwork, the patient would not have survived.
In issuing Certificates of Appreciation and praise to the seven LAFD members, Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas emphasized that "at every step, everything went right" and "because all of the various elements of the Chain of Survival were done in a rapid and effective manner, Will is here today."
Indeed Mr. Beall - accompanied by his wife Liz, surprised his rescuers by attending the Fire Commission meeting to greet and thank them. He closed the emotional reunion on an heartfelt note by saying "my heart stopped, but you didn't let that stop you. You didn't give up on me, you continued to work all the way to the hospital. Because of you, my three children still have a father."
Award Ceremony Photo Album
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