BILLINGS, Mont. -- Right now, EMS workers are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, helping to save lives while also protecting their own.
The evening of February 29, 2020, Stacie Hansen and her two sons noticed 'Dad' was making a funny noise.
"We realized he wasn't breathing," Stacie says.
Stacie, a nurse at St. Vincent Health Care, immediately began performing CPR on her husband, Jon, after calling 9-1-1.
"The fire department was here right away, initially gave him that initial shock which got his rhythm back and took over CPR which I was really thankful for," she says.
AMR intubated Jon in the field then rushed him to the emergency room at St. Vincent Health Care. Jon was admitted to the ICU and put in a cold induced coma to protect his body from possible after shocks. Dr. Barry Mckenzie, Trauma Medical Director at St. Vincent Health Care, says Stacie's effort to revive her husband combined with the rapid response from Billings Fire and AMR helped save Jon's life.
"Because they do a good job, it allows me to go and tell family members that hey, we have a good shot at a good recovery here," says Dr. McKenzie.
Jon says doctors placed an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in his chest to monitor his heart rhythm, and now his two son's call him Iron Man.
Jon says he did not test positive for COVID-19, but Samantha Kaufman, Director of Emergency Services at St. Vincent, says right now, EMS workers have to be ready for anything.
"They seriously put their lives on the line and put themselves in some pretty dangerous situations with not a lot of information," she says.
"I got my life back," says Jon, "and we got these boys to take care of and 'thanks' isn't enough to everyone that was here and involved in the whole process. I just feel very fortunate."
Jon says his doctors still don't know what caused him to go into cardiac arrest, but he tells me he's feeling great, he's back to work, and he can play baseball with his two boys again.