Story & Photos by Katalia Alexander For many years, our region has been known as a global leader in emergency medical response, with an extremely high heart attack survival rate of 62% in 2013. This is due, in part, to the act of heroic citizens who are the first to respond after a medical emergency. One such outstanding citizen is Starbucks employee Natasha Stapp, who performed CPR on a man after he went into cardiac arrest and collapsed outside of the Starbucks store where she worked. On April 6, 2017, shortly before 5 p.m., Christopher Smith went into cardiac arrest, fell unconscious, and collapsed on the sidewalk outside of the Starbucks located at SW 148th and Ambaum Blvd SW. Bystanders immediately reacted to help him, with Stapp quickly beginning CPR. Two other citizens â€“ Burton Powers and Mark Anderson â€“ aided Stapp by calling 911, relaying instructions from the dispatcher to Stapp, and monitoring Smith’s vital signs. Burien firefighters quickly arrived on the scene as well as King County Medic-One Paramedics, who were able to resuscitate Smith and transport him to Highline Medical Center, where he received further treatment and was discharged a few days later. According to a doctor who treated Smith, Stappâ€™s performance of CPR significantly increased Smith’s chances of survival. On Thursday (June 15), the Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department held a ceremony to recognize these citizens for their actions and the role they played in saving Smith’s life. Though Powers and Anderson were unfortunately unable to attend the ceremony, they were recognized for their crucial role in the event. Stapp received a certificate and was personally thanked by the Fire District Commissioner, Emergency Medical Services, and Smith himself. Smith credited his survival to the quick reactions of everyone involved in the event: Stapp, the firefighters, the paramedics, and the hospital. He added that he is grateful that the Seattle area has such a strong emergency medical services system in place, as well as having citizens who have learned CPR. According to the American Heart Association, the chances of survival in the wake of cardiac arrest are more than doubled if CPR is performed within a few minutes. In this case, Stapp was able to help save the life of a fellow citizen because of her quick response and CPR training, and that is something that should be recognized.]]>
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