BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Buckeye man was reunited Tuesday with the firefighters who saved his life after he suffered a heart attack on December 12. "I'm very grateful to have a second chance," said Rick Preciado.
His wife Jessica had noticed he'd stopped breathing after they had gone to bed. And as firefighters rushed to their house, the 911 operator walked Jessica through CPR. "Very calm. Very gracious. Very, extremely helpful," Jessica said.
When engine 703 arrived, Rick had been unresponsive for more than 10 minutes. "[We] found the patient to be pulseless... so not breathing and no pulse," said Engineer Marc Andrade with Buckeye Fire Department.
Still, the closest ambulance was 20 minutes out. "Hooked him up to our monitor at that time and we actually defibrillated the patient four times, gave multiple medications," Andrade said.
And remarkably, the crew got Rick's pulse to come back by the time the ambulance pulled up. "If you think about it, to be down that time with no heart rate, no pulse, not breathing, it's a miracle, right?" Andrade said.
Now, Rick is making a full recovery, even going skiing.
Tuesday, surrounded by family and the men who kept him from slipping away, Rick had words of thanks that came from the heart. "Heroes like this maybe don't get the credit that they deserve for their quick thinking and not giving up," Rick said. "So I'm very happy to see them."