Village recognizes local heroes

Angel Fire Fire Chief John Murtagh (right) looks on as Mayor Barbara Cottam presents an “Excellence in the Line of Duty” award to volunteer Dale Jackson. Also honored were, l-r, John Murtaugh, John Perryman and Jared Johnson. Not pictured:Chuck Verry. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)

Paid and volunteer firefighters and emergency medical staff perform heroically all year-’round but Angel Fire Fire Chief John Murtagh wanted to recognize the “extraordinary” life-saving efforts of members of his crew during a recent Oct. 13 emergency call in Angel Fire.

In his recommendation to council, Murtagh wrote, “At approximately 5:16 p.m. a call for EMS came over the radio, ‘Dispatch EMS immediately to Station 1 for a 78 year old female, unconscious and not breathing.’ Our newest volunteer, John Murtagh [the chief’s son], was at the station alone, when a vehicle pulled up and he was presented with this emergency. He calmly removed the victim from the car and started CPR. Within minutes, additional members Jarred Johnson, Johnson, John Perryman, Chuck Verry and Dale Jackson arrived at the scene and began working diligently and cohesively. These members were presented with an unexpected challenge and worked effortlessly to successfully convert this victim from cardiac arrest. The patient was delivered to Holy Cross Hospital with a stable cardiac rhythm and was breathing on her own. The treatment provided during the transport to Holy Cross hospital was extraordinary. During this time, no air ambulances were available, adding increased stress on the providers. Fewer than 1 percent of cardiac arrest patients have such an outcome and these personnel should be congratulated for their efforts.”