A service call by the Missoula Fire Department that occurred early in the morning of December 27, helped to save the life of a Spokane Valley firefighter, using equipment and a new Pit Crew CPR technique taught to the Missoula firefighter/EMT’s by the Spokane Valley Fire Department back in 2015.

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Missoula Fire Department Captain Phillip Keating described what happened early on the morning of December 27.

“We were dispatched at about 1:15 in the morning to a CPR call for a male in cardiac arrest and his son was performing CPR,” said Captain Keating. “The Missoula Police Department arrived about the same time with two officers. They arrived the same time as our Engine 131. The patient was found on the floor with his son doing chest compressions. His son is a recently certified EMT and a volunteer firefighter in the Spokane Valley.”

Using the Pit Crew CPR equipment and training received from the Spokane Valley Fire Department, Keating described what happened at the scene.

“We ended up shocking him multiple times,” he said. “He was in cardiac arrest when we got there. We shocked him, got him back and then transported him to the hospital where he stayed for three days. He's made almost a full recovery; in fact, he's starting cardiac rehab next week.”

Here’s where the sweet irony of the story comes in, said Captain Keating.

“The interesting part about the whole story is that about five years ago, we sent our EMS coordinator over to Spokane to learn this new type of CPR,” he said. “And so Mike Rossi, the man that we were doing CPR on, is himself a firefighter for the Spokane Fire Department, and they're the ones who taught us a new method of CPR that ultimately saved from one of their own.”

Rossi told KGVO News that the Pit Crew CPR method is much like the pit crew at a NASCAR race, where each member has an assigned duty during an emergency medical call, and the Missoula City Fire Department has adopted the method that helped to save Rossi’s life.

“We've seen our success rates with CPR increased significantly and we thought that this would be a great opportunity to reach out to the public and let them know that we offer CPR classes and that early and effective bystander CPR is very important to survival,” added Keating. “The public can contact the Missoula Fire Department at  406-552-6210 and they can get on the list for CPR classes taught by the Missoula Fire Department.”

Rossi said he is recovering at his home in Spokane and is thankful for the excellent training Missoula Fire received from the Spokane Fire Department.

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