Long-time Lethbridge resident Tony Deys says the city’s integrated response model of paramedics and firefighters is a big reason why he’s alive today.

Deys suffered a heart attack on December 15th while playing hockey with his rec team.

He says the quick action of his friends, who began CPR immediately, as well as the skill and expertise of responding emergency personnel saved his life.

Deys admits “I was one of those ones that when there was a call and I would see an ambulance and a fire truck, I would think to myself ‘why?’ And now I know why. Instead of having two people to perform CPR on me who knew what they were doing I had seven people.”

He says “I’m here today and I probably shouldn’t be.”

Deys reunited Friday with the team of paramedic-firefighters who saved his life to talk to media about the integrated model.

Paramedic-Firefighter Braden Burton was one of the emergency personnel called to the ATB Centre that night.

He says this integrated system saves lives, as every time a serious ambulance call goes out, you have two people responding but if it’s serious, the fire truck responds with more people and “having all that help is crucial” for a good outcome.

The City of Lethbridge has provided an integrated paramedic-firefighter model since 1912 and is one of only five integrated services operating in Alberta.