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June 20, 2013

Colo. wildland firefighter has heart attack, saved by crew

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — A firefighter suffered a heart attack while hiking with his crew to a fire at a national park Sunday.

7 News reported that Luther Larkin Sr., 51, received CPR from his fire crew companies and medics arrived in minutes with an automated external defibrillator.

Members of Larkin’s crew carried him to the nearest helicopter landing area and he was airlifted to a cardiac care hospital in Denver, according to the report.

In 2008, an 18-year-old firefighter was struck by a fallen tree while fighting a fire and died while en route to a local hospital, according to the report. His death spurred new emergency medical response requirements to quickly aid firefighters working in dangerous wildfire zones.

In coordination with park officials, firefighters began extensive preparation for any emergency response, according to the report. Fire officials say this is why there was a nearby paramedic team with the AED, which was critical to reviving firefighter Larken.

Prompt ordering of the emergency medical helicopter also played a key role in the successful response to the life-or-death emergency, according to the report.


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