Evansdale Fire and Police Chiefs present Life Saving Award - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Evansdale Fire and Police Chiefs present Life Saving Award

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EVANSDALE (KWWL) -- A group of small town heroes is receiving recognition for saving the lives of two people. This week, the Evansdale Police and Fire Chiefs presented nine volunteer firefighters and two police officers with live-saving awards during the town's regular city council meeting.

"We're just very, very grateful that we have these guys here. That we have them here to be able to do this -- to be able to save us," said 34 year old Heather Collins.

Firefighters and police officers don't always receive a "thank you." Tuesday night was an exception. But certificates and medals can't compare with the feeling of saving someone's life.

"That's it. That's your excitement. That's an award in itself to go -- she's here because we were here," said Sergeant Jeffery Jensen.

"She" is Heather Collins, a mother of four. Last month, with no warning, Collins collapsed in her kitchen.

"Her condition was pretty grim, her color was not good, she had kind of a glaze in her eyes that people get right before... right as they die or before they die. And so, when I took a first look at her I was afraid we were too late," noted Captain Ben Kjome, a volunteer paramedic.

Collins was in cardiac arrest -- which, in this kind of situation, is almost always fatal. But the first responders weren't about to let four children grow up without a mother.

"They didn't stop. They kept going and going and going, like, 'no we have to have a heartbeat'," Collins explained.

"You're trying that much harder and hoping for a good outcome, and knowing that most of the time you don't get a good outcome. To have this woman survive is probably one of the greatest things ever... it has nothing to do with the award," Jensen said.

The award does represent something that is truly awesome -- Collins is alive, and doing well, thanks to a couple ordinary heroes.

"It reminds you that you have a purpose," Jensen added.

This is the first time the Evansdale Fire or Police Chief has given out a Life-Saving Award. Kjome is hoping this public recognition will inspire more people to become volunteer firefighters in their community.

Online Reporter: Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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