Fast First Responders Recognized

Rowlett Fire Department credited with saving lives faster

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Wednesday, Aug 8, 2012  |  Updated 8:37 PM CDT
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Joy Dickey thanked first responders who saved her life when she had a heart attack back in February.

Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Garland Reporter

Joy Dickey thanked first responders who saved her life when she had a heart attack back in February.

The Rowlett Fire Department has been recognized for having the fastest response times in the American Heart Association Dallas Caruth Initiative.

It took about 74 minutes from the time Joy Dickey developed symptoms of a heart attack until she arrived at the cath lab at Baylor Medical Center at Garland.

The reported state average for treatment times is 171 minutes.

"I'm happy to be here," Dickey said. "If it weren't for the fire department and their quick response, I know I wouldn't be here."

Dickey, 53, sustained her heart attack in February. She was reunited with Rowlett first responders on Wednesday afternoon.

Today, the Rowlett Fire Department and Baylor Medical Center at Garland received recognition for beating the clock.

Rowlett first responders raced against time to save 53-year-old Joy Dickey's life when she had a heart attack back in February. They were reunited Wednesday afternoon to celebrate beating the odds.

"That's the best part of the job," said Josh Dodson, of the fire department.

"We were just doing our job," he said. "We didn't do anything spectacular. It's more of a testimony to the technology in the field that really benefits the citizens."

First responders are getting trained with a $3.5 million grant from the W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation.

"Everybody joining together is literally lives being saved and people going home to their families," said Russell Griffin, of the American Heart Association.

In Dallas County, 24 fire departments and 15 hospitals are collaborating in the initiative to reduce response times.

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