Bella Vista Fire Chief spreading awareness about heart health


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) — A local fire chief is spreading awareness about heart health after surviving the widow maker heart attack. It’s known as one of the deadliest.​

“For 23 years as a paramedic, and all my life working at the fire station I’ve asked people to describe the pain that you’re having​​,” said Bella Vista Fire Department, Division Fire Chief Scott Cranford​.

At 45 years old, it was his turn to answer those questions. ​​

“Denial is kind of a big part of it. You don’t have a previous history and first-time onset of a medical emergency when it occurs it is new to the patient​​​.”

Cranford had been working a fire and had an intense training exercise when he felt something odd.​​

“To me, it felt like I was like breathing in 15 minutes of cold air and the back of my throat was burning​​.”

​Cranford was having a heart attack. ​Captain Leon Lieutard noticed something wrong.​​ “His skin was pale and he was very sweaty and he looked very tired​​”

Lieutard used a cardiac monitor to identify if Cranford was, in fact, having a heart attack and he was. The information collected was sent directly to Northwest Medical Center.

“I just remember breaking down and I knew at that point that this was very bad. I kind of in a way told my wife my last goodbye and told her that I loved her​,” said Cranford.

​He had a blockage in a major artery causing a widow-maker heart attack. ​A cardiologist helped open the artery, ultimately saving him.

​Cranford now knows, first hand the importance of quickly seeking help.

​​”It’s important that we recognize that something is not right. At that point depending on the activity, family history and put it all together to at least let somebody evaluate you. A trip to the ER is worth saving your life​​,”

​​Cranford reminds people to pay close attention to shortness of breath, numbness and chest discomfort. ​Being aware could save your life. ​

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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