Firefighters Save One of Their Own

CONCORD, Calif. — Some quick thinking by Contra Costa County (Calif.) firefighters saved the life of one of their own this week. After a firefighter suffered a heart attack at a station, emergency medical crews quickly responded and used a defibrillator to bring him back.

“It was a case of heroes saving one of their own,” said Kim Wiley, whose uncle, Don Danielson, suffered the heart attack.

Danielson, a 51-year-old engineer, was talking to a former co-worker at 4:12 p.m. Monday next door to Station 10, located at 2955 Treat Blvd. in Concord, when he collapsed. The retired firefighter was able to identify the signs of a heart attack and reported the medical emergency, said department Battalion Chief Dave George, who was one of the rescuers who responded to the scene.

Within one minute of the call, paramedic Lon Goetsch used a defibrillator to shock Danielson’s heart once. Others then performed CPR, George said.

Danielson regained a pulse after about one minute and started to breathe on his own. He remained unconscious as he was rushed to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

Wiley, who visited Danielson on Tuesday morning, said her uncle regained consciousness Monday night.

“He’s doing very good,” she said. “He’s awake and responding to everybody.

“Those firefighters saved his life,” she said.

George said Danielson survived for two reasons. The first was the quick action taken by other firefighters and medical personnel. The other key factor was having a defibrillator close by.

George said he recommends to everyone to find out where the closest defibrillator is to them.

“They’re at health clubs, they’re at airports, and they’re at more places than you think,” he said. “They flat-out save lives.”

Reach Roman Gokhman at 925-945-4780, or at

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