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Off-duty firefighter saves man in cardiac arrest at Tarpon Springs Publix

A man collapses at Publix on Valentine's Day
Posted at 10:59 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 23:41:45-05

Tarpon Springs, Fla.- An off-duty Tarpon Springs firefighter saved a man who went into cardiac arrest at a Publix. It happened on Valentine's Day at the Publix on US Highway 19 North.

A shopper inside the store knew exactly what to do.

Jared Crisp, a certified EMT and engineer with Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue, was shopping inside the store with his two children.

"I heard my name paged over the intercom. I know people who work there at the store. It was kind of awkward to hear someone page my name," said Jared Crisp.

Crisp rushed to the customer service counter and found a man who collapsed and was unconscious.

"He had bought his lottery tickets. He had dropped them and they had helped him get his lottery tickets back into his hand and then he fell over and collapsed." said Crisp.

Crisp grabbed the AED on the store's wall. He showed us a similar AED at the fire station.

"So what it is trying to do is stop the heart quickly so the heart can try and start itself back up," said Crisp.

The American Heart Association says survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby. Almost 90% of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital die, according to the American Heart Association.

Crisp also started CPR.

"The gentlemen took a big deep breath. He began breathing on his own again," said Crisp.

The Tarpon Springs Fire Chief wrote a letter applauding Crisp's actions. The letter states, "He quickly evaluated the patient and found him to be in cardiac arrest." The letter goes on to say, "Due to his quick action the patient received immediate care which resulted in a positive outcome."

"I've never had anything like this happen. I was actually kind of startled and surprised, but I said let's just do what we need to do," added Crisp.

We were unable to get an exact update on the man because of patient privacy laws.