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Man revived by Clearview Firefighters sends thank you tweet

'This is just a great, happy story that ended 2017:' Clearview Fire Chief
2018-01-02 tweet to Clearview Fire

A man from the Creemore area took to twitter to say a big thank you to Clearview Firefighters for saving his life.

'There's not enough words to describe my gratitude to your staff. I know I wouldn't be around if not for their quick work. Thank you, thank you, thank you from me and my family!!' tweeted John deRuiter on Monday night.

Firefighters and Simcoe County Paramedics responded to a 'tiered medical call' regarding a man with difficulty breathing at noon on Dec. 28 at deRuiter's home in Dunedin.

Firefighters arrived on scene and assessed deRuiter while awaiting the arrival of Paramedics.

Then he went vital signs absent. 

"While we were monitoring his vitals, the vitals started dropping and the individual went into a type of cardiac arrest. Our crews initiated CPR and one shock and the person became semi-conscious," said Clearview Fire Chief Colin Shewell. 

Paramedics were able to stabilize deRuiter when they arrived and transported him first to hospital in Collingwood and then Newmarket.

Shewell says deRuiter's family also played a big role in saving his life by calling 9-1-1 right away. 

"That was key in this one. He's a good 35 minutes from hospital," said Shewell.  "Without quick response on their end to initiate 9-1-1, this probably wouldn't have been possible. He was experiencing shortness of breath and some chest pains but a lot of people will discard it and say I'll go lie down and play it down. If you have that feeling this could be a serious medical emergency, don't hesitate to call 911."

Clearview Fire has a full-time Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief and about 100 part-time, on-call firefighters at five stations.

The department responded to 770 calls last year, 43 percent of which were medical. Clearview Fire serves a population of 14,151 in a 558 square kilometre area.

Not every call has a happy outcome and the twitter kudos made this save especially sweet - particularly at this time of year. 

deRuiter, who is in his late 50s, is at home and on the road to recovery. 

"To be able to be there and administer our training and our professionalism and work with our team at the Simcoe County Paramedics and have a happy outcome -  where these people are planning for 2018 and they're not planning a funeral for 2018. That's an awesome feeling. Our crews do a great job throughout the year and this was one of the positives that we have," said the proud Fire Chief.

"This is just a great, happy story that ended 2017 and put this family in the position to have a happy 2018 with their husband, father, brother."