It was an emotional day for local first responders as they met some of the people whose lives they’ve saved over the past year.
“The last thing I remember was just being out there, watching my son’s practice,” said Dave Buse who suffered a heart attack while watching his son play hockey. “He did a move. It was good. He looks up in the stands, I gave him a thumbs up.”
Then moments later, Buse would collapse in the stands of the Riverview Ice House. He suffered a heart attack.
“First person that saw me, I was already blue and face down.”
Buse said he later found out he had no vital signs for at least 15 minutes. It was in those critical moments that two bystanders began performing CPR until paramedics arrived. Buse was clearly emotional on the stage as he shook the hands and hugged the people who saved him.
“The people who first got their hands on me knew exactly what they were doing. And they passed me off to the next group of people who knew exactly what they were doing. And it’s the only reason why I’m standing here.”
One of the men who saved Buse is retired firefighter Karl Ericksen. He happened to be at the Ice House when Buse collapsed. He says it was his instinct to jump in and help.
“On first arrival, we had no pulse and no breathing,” said Ericksen. “So, we immediately flipped him over and by the looks of him, we knew immediately we needed to do CPR.”
Ericksen says the entire experience has been surreal and very humbling.
“To see him just walking around and the smile on his face… the gratitude that he has for life… is an inspiration, honestly,” said Ericksen.
“I’ll never be able to thank these people enough,” said Buse. “Never. No matter what I do. I mean, coming here and doing this thing is the least I can do.”