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Hospital honors DuPage fire departments for lifesaving work

 Glendale Heights – Adventist GlenOaks Hospital honored local paramedics and firefighters during its first annual “Run of the Year” dinner, hosted by the hospital’s emergency department staff. The event took place Thursday, Jan. 29 at Ki’s Steak and Seafood in Glendale Heights.

The Addison Fire Protection District received the “Run of the Year” award for their prompt response to a 9-1-1 call Sept. 29, 2008. When firefighters/paramedics arrived at the Addison home of 56-year-old Alan Bolek, he was in full cardiac arrest. Emergency personnel performed a defibrillation and treated him with medication to increase his heart rate.

“Usually patients in full arrest end up with brain swelling because oxygen is not getting to the brain,” said Billie Sweeney, the hospital’s emergency medical services coordinator. “But Mr. Bolek was only down for five minutes when the emergency response team got his heart beating again. If they didn’t respond so quickly, he wouldn’t have been able to walk out of our hospital.”

Bolek was rushed to Adventist GlenOaks Hospital’s Shanahan Emergency and Trauma Center. In the cardiac catheterization laboratory, he was diagnosed with extreme cardiomegaly, an enlarged heart that made it difficult for the electricity of the heart to function properly. Dr. Aziz Ahmed, an interventional cardiologist who is medical director of the hospital’s cardiac catheterization laboratory, performed an angiogram, which involves placing a small balloon into a blocked coronary artery and inflating it to open the vessel for improved blood flow. Dr. Stephen Laga, a cardiothoracic surgeon, treated Bolek with an automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator and a pacemaker.

Bolek, who made a full recovery, attended the event with his wife, Lynda. The couple joined hospital leaders in presenting the award to the Addison Fire Protection District personnel who responded to their call: Capt. Jim Burke and firefighter/paramedics Troy Vogelmann, Dan Cromp, Lt. Scott Heinrich, Christopher Mansfield, and Erick Fritsch.

“There are no words to express my appreciation,” Alan Bolek told the group. “Thank you.”

Addison Fire Chief Leigh A. Fabbri praised his team for a job well done.

“To us, this is what we do day in and day out,” Fabbri said. “This crew and all of our paramedics perform tremendous feats every day and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Dr. Joseph Shanahan, medical director of Emergency Services at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, also praised the department.

“Without this team’s knowledge and accuracy, Mr. Bolek might never have made it out of our emergency department,” Shanahan said. “Our community can be confident they will receive the care they need in an emergency.”

In addition to the Addison Fire Protection District, representatives from the following agencies were recognized for being named “Run of the Month” in 2008.