LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The first week of June is CPR and AED week. To kick it off, a heartfelt story about a heart attack survivor reuniting with the first responders who saved his life, shares the importance of calling 911 and performing CPR.

Billy Savely Sr. went into cardiac arrest March 30. He says when his wife seen what was happening, she immediately called 911.

“It started with a 911 phone call, the officers responding, they pumped me for about twenty minutes, the ambulance got there and went to Lourdes, and from the doctors to the staff there, again they saved my life. “

Savely says he is extremely thankful to the first responders who saved his life when they performed CPR. When he went into cardiac arrest, first responders with the Lafayette police department and Acadian ambulance Services arrived and began performing life saving measures. Savely says he thanked the cardiologist and staff at the Lourdes but was told “it’s not me, it’s the first responders, the police officers, the medics who saved your life.”

As first responders Sergeant Wayne Griffin and Corporal Brandon Dugas with LPD received their certificates, they say reuniting with Billy is special.

Sgt. Griffin says “Today’s actually a good day. Not only for the family of Mr. Billy but for the community and the police department. Everybody wins today.” Cpl. Dugas says he’s been a cop of fifteen years performing CPR several times, but “this is the first guy that we saved his life.”

EMT Luke Hennings and paramedic Dylan Laviolette with Acadian Ambulance were reunited with Savely as he thanked and presented them with a certificate.

Both Laviolette and Hennings stress the importance of performing CPR when needed as it increased the chances of a person surviving. Laviolette says “with good CPR you can keep the blood flowing, as it re-oxygenates everything until first responders can get there and start providing oxygen.” Hennings says “our bodies hold a good amount of oxygen in our blood so if you can just focus on doing just good compressions by yourself.” He says, “often times that can be enough to make the difference.””

Acadian ambulance says a key reminder when performing CPR is to press hard and fast. Acadian Ambulance is currently hiring EMTs and paramedics and offers EMT and paramedic training. For more information you can visit here to learn more about classes.

Acadian Ambulance Services shares some facts about CPR and AED awareness:

  • According to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim`s chance of survival.
  • Only about 40% of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives.
  • Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective in the first few minutes as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public.
  • Hands-Only CPR has just two easy steps, performed in this order:
  • Call 911 if you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse.
  • 2 Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of a familiar song that has 100 to 120 beats per minute.

Song examples include “StayinAlive” by the Bee Gees, “Crazy in Love” by Beyonc featuring Jay-Z, “Hips Dont Lie” by Shakira” or “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash. People feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song.