On a Sunday afternoon in early December 2008, Mel and his wife Judy were competing in a dog agility meet at the horse arena in Redwood Acres. At the same time, Eureka Firefighters were at Redwood Acres for their annual toy drive. Capt. Chris Emmons, Engineer Mitchell Mills, Firefighters Jason Campillo and Donald Penn were collecting toys for the annual toy drive, when they were dispatched to a medical aid call at the horse arena. When the fire crew got to the Mr. Sample, bystanders were performing CPR. The bystanders turned out to be a physician and a nurse. Mr. Sample had no pulse and was unable to breathe on his own. The fire crew applied the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) to Mr. Sample in an attempt to get his heart to start a normal heartbeat. The AED was administered twice and a normal pulse was regained. By the time Mr. Sample got to the hospital, he was awake and talking.
Mr. Sample is alive and well because he had the good fortune to have a doctor and a nurse at the event to start immediate CPR, and a fire crew was only footsteps away from him with the Eureka Fire Department’s brand new Automatic External Defibrillator, which was used for the very first time to save Mr. Sample’s life. Mr. Sample had, an until then, unknown serious heart condition that has a very low survival rate. Because he got immediate emergency medical care, followed by treatment using the latest advances in medicine, he is with his wife and family today; planning to attend more dog agility meets as well as the many other activities they enjoy.
Pictured L-R: Firefighter Donald Penn, Firefighter Jason Campillo, Engineer Mitchell Mills, Mel and Judy Sample, Captain Chris Emmons