The Sussex County Ambulance Association and Sussex County Emergency Medical Services honored 39 cardiac arrest survivors and 287 rescuers, including first responders, emergency operations specialists and civilians, who helped save lives in 2018.

Thirty-nine people who survived near-death cardiac events in 2018 have a new lease on life, thanks to the combined efforts of first responders, 911 dispatchers and ordinary citizens who worked together, when seconds counted, to save them.

On May 11, the Sussex County Phoenix Club Awards Ceremony was held at the Ellendale Volunteer Fire Company to recognize those who survived near-death cardiac events last year, and to honor the men and women who helped to save them. Each year, nearly 420,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States, with bystanders and emergency responders facing the daunting task of trying to save those individuals from succumbing to death.

The Sussex County Ambulance Association and Sussex County Emergency Medical Services honored 39 cardiac arrest survivors and 287 rescuers, including first responders, emergency operations specialists and civilians, who helped save lives in 2018. Recipients were each presented with Phoenix awards, symbolic of the mythological bird that is reborn.

The ceremony recognized those who participated in what the American Heart Association calls the “Chain of Survival” for a victim of cardiac arrest. This includes early notification by 911 dispatchers with instructions on how to perform CPR, early CPR and early use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), followed by early advanced care and transport to a cardiac care facility.