Man Who Suffered Heart Attack in Snowstorm Meets Rescue Team

Updated: 03/11/2014 5:47 PM
Created: 03/11/2014 5:09 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

It could have ended tragically, but thanks to a lot of teamwork south of Superior on a very snowy night, a Foxboro man is going home from the hospital.

Bob Benson sat at a table in Essentia Health-St. Mary's Tuesday thanks to the 14 people that were sitting around him. The group included a 911 operator, members of the Town of Superior Fire Department, doctors, nurses, and Gold Cross Ambulance paramedics.

To the group, Bob and his wife, Sue, gave a big thank you.

"Thanks a lot, what can you say," said Bob.

"Thank you from the bottom of Bob's heart and the top of mine, because he wouldn't be here otherwise," added Sue.

Most of those at the table were used to responding to emergencies, but then there was also an unlikely hero. Craig Plummer is a Douglas County plow operator.

"I didn't know who they were until today. It was good to see them, good to see Bob sitting there and doing good," said Plummer.

Many people remember February 21 for the massive amount of snow dumped on the Twin Ports, but Bob remembers it because he knew something felt wrong.

"About 1:30 in the morning...I had crushing chest pain, it's like, 'whoa what's going on?'" said Bob.

Sue is a nurse. She knew it was a heart attack and loaded him up in their SUV.

"We barreled out of the garage, got stuck about 20 feet up the driveway, and got the phone out... to call 911," said Sue.

She then got their snow blower out while they waited. The roads were so bad that night the ambulance wasn't able to make it down the Benson's road, they were stuck about a mile and a half away. The volunteer firefighters were trying to get through, too.

Fire Chief Darryl Fiegle picked up one of the paramedics to get to the Bensons in his four-wheel drive truck.

In the meantime, Plummer, the plow operator, received word of the emergency and plowed the road so the ambulance could get to Bob.

Once in the ambulance, the paramedics performed a 12-lead ECG.

"It does a printout. Then the computer does an interpretation of it and we do an interpretation of it and we both agreed. That's when we called a STEMI alert," said Tony Boespflug, a Blue Cross Ambulance paramedic.

STEMI is one of the most serious types of heart attacks. With the advanced warning from the paramedics, the hospital was then able to call in the doctors and nurses needed, saving a lot of time.

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