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November 3, 2011 - 6:25pm

City firefighter saves life while on vacation in Orlando

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia FIre Department.

Dan Herberger is trained to save lives. It's what he's paid to do.

Recently, though, the unassuming nine-year-veteran of the Batavia Fire Department saved a life while on vacation.

Returning with his family from Disney World, Herberger was in the Orlando airport with his parents, wife and children.  

Part of the group wanted hamburgers and fries for dinner, and the rest wanted something a little more substantial.

While Herberger waited in a line with his dad, he noticed a woman by a kiosk collapse.

"The lady just collapsed," Herberger said. "It wasn't a weak-kneed faint. She just went down."

Herberger was among several people who rushed to her side. As he looked at her, he could tell she wasn't breathing. He asked somebody to call 9-1-1 and asked others to try and find a defibrillator.

When he check the woman's artery for a pulse, there was none.

Herberger began CPR.

Right then, a registered nurse emerged from the crowd to assist him.

A short time later the defibrillator arrived. The nurse applied one paddle, Herberger the other. They waited for the machine to give the signal for a shock, and applied it. Then Herberger started chest compressions again. After a minute, he checked for a pulse again, and the defibrillator indicated the woman had regained a strong, steady pulse.

Herberger filled in emergency dispatchers on what he and the nurse did. He said when he was a paramedic for the city, he liked having information about a situation before arriving on scene, so he passed along what he knew.

Within minutes local firefighters were on scene and took control of the situation.

Herberger went back to the business of getting his meal before boarding his flight. He said as he was boarding, the firefighters were still on scene with the woman tending to her. She was on a stretcher with her head slightly elevated, which tells him she was probably doing OK at that point.

He hasn't checked on her condition, he said, because that feels too much like he's trying to take credit.

The local attention isn't something he's sought out, but said, "I made the mistake of telling one of my buddies on an off day."

That led to Chief Jim Maxwell finding out, who wanted to ensure Herberger got some recognition for his swift work to revive the woman.

"It's something anybody else would have done if they had been there," Herberger said. "If I hadn't have been there, somebody else would have done it. That nurse was only 30 seconds behind me. She would have done it."

George Richardson
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Joined: Dec 10 2008 - 9:33am

He sounds like a really fine guy who cared. I wonder if the woman can remember what death was like. I would have disobeyed God's will too, if it had been me.
Firemen beat the hell out of politicians, in my perfect world.

Jason Brunner
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Joined: Jun 17 2010 - 1:31pm

We need more heroes like this in the world. Good for him! Praise God for him being in the right place at the right time! :)

Jason Crater
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Awesome! Thanks for spreading good will buddy!

Amy Platten
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Joined: May 8 2011 - 11:52am

We need more people like Dan. God must have placed him there at the right time.

JT Hunt
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Joined: Dec 23 2008 - 1:58pm

good job. does Batavia have to pay overtime for this? lol

Rebecca Beach
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Last seen: 10 months 1 day ago
Joined: Mar 8 2010 - 7:50pm

No overtime pay! Sadly, City residents have been stripped of the emergency medical services of these fine professionals.Good job Dan!

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