Fireman survives 8th heart attack, saved by fellow firefighters while responding to call

David Hart fell into cardiac arrest last Friday night in Burke County.
David Hart had to be resuscitated while responding to a fire last week.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 10:27 PM EDT
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BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Firefighters save lives. But Friday night, the team at Chesterfield Fire Rescue in Burke County had no idea they’d be saving one of their own.

A call came in sending firefighter David Hart to a camper trailer fire on Bristol Creek Avenue this past Friday. Hart was first to arrive and was preparing the water pumps when he noticed he didn’t feel right.

When he collapsed, his fellow firefighters rushed to help him, immediately starting CPR and using a defibrillator to bring him back to life.

“It was under five minutes, but it felt like eternity,” Amanda Buff, who first performed CPR on Hart, said. “This is like an everyday thing for us. We respond to cardiac arrests all the time, but it feels more personal when it’s one of your own people.”

Hart said Friday’s scare was his eighth heart attack, and said he was dead for almost five minutes before his team resuscitated him.

“I can honestly say my gratitude is for Amanda,” he said. “That saved my life. Because of her, I’m here.”

Hart said he returned home from the hospital Monday and is already back at the fire station.

But he knows it could’ve gone a different way. He and the other firefighters are urging the public to consider getting trained in CPR. They say it helped them save a life, and it could help you.

“There are few times I get to do this where I can shake the hand of someone I defibrillated,” TJ Robinson, the captain of the volunteer fire station, said.

Though it’s only required every two years, Robinson said they do CPR recertification each year.

Also Read: Bills’ Damar Hamlin joins Carolina Panthers for CPR training event