'Chain of Survival' Saves Man's Life

Nov. 13, 2013

An Albemarle County man got the chance to thank police officers, fire and rescue personal, and doctors who saved his life after he went into cardiac arrest earlier this year.

Bruce Barkley's rescue is credited to the success of the "Chain of Survival." The "Chain of Survival" was designated by the American Heart Association to outline each step emergency personnel should take to ensure the best chance of a patient's survival.

For Bruce, the first link began when his wife, Carolyn, called 9-1-1 and was instructed how to perform CPR. A police officer later arrived to help her. CPR is the second link in the chain.

"It was very difficult. You don't think, you just do the right thing. Obviously I knew to call 9-1-1, and I was instructed what to do, and I followed those instructions," said Carolyn.

Fire and rescue activated the third and fourth link in the chain; defibrillating Bruce and as giving him and IV and cardiac medication. Bruce was then taken to the hospital where he was placed under the care of doctors.

Bruce says no matter what link, he's thankful for everyone's dedication and glad the system is in place.

"I'm just so grateful for it. You don't know it's there until you need it," said Bruce. "You don't think you need it you say 'boy I'm healthy, it can't happen to me,' but boy it's so good to have."

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