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A grateful Lumley family donates to help the Palos Fire Protection District save other lives

 

     Palos Fire Protection District paramedics saved the life of Robert “Bob” Lumley in the mid-1990s, giving the Palos Park man more than 20 years of life he otherwise would not have had.

            Now, after his death at age 82, his family and friends are repaying the favor.

            “My mom and dad were always supporters of our local fire department, going back to when it was a volunteer force,” explained Lumley’s son, David. “He made it clear to us that we should do the same.”

            So when Mr. Lumley died on Dec. 15 of a heart-related condition, the family made a decision that was easy and unanimous: in lieu of flowers, mourners were asked to make a charitable contribution to the Palos Fire Protection District.

            Thus far, nearly $5,000 in contributions have rolled in, and grateful district officials have used the funds to purchase CPR training equipment they otherwise would not have had.

            “There were no funds in our budget for this endeavor,” Palos Fire Chief Pat Gericke told The Regional News. “What we have purchased will help us improve the CPR proficiency of our medics and teach CPR to the general public.”

Although his father’s first brush with death occurred more than two decades ago, David Lumley remembers it well.

“My dad was having a heart attack, and my mom ran to the phone to call 911,” he said. “The ambulance got to the house in just three minutes—three minutes–which is very important to the story.

“So they got him in the ambulance, in our driveway,” he continued. “Within another two minutes, he was going up the ramp onto 123rd Street from Southwest Highway and he flat-lined and died, technically died, in the ambulance. My mom was in the car behind them.”

But Palos fire district paramedics “used electric shock and got him breathing again, and by the time they got to [Palos Community Hospital], he was stabilized,” he added. “Then they got him to the heart center at St. Francis Hospital in Blue Island. Really, it’s a great success story built on speed, expertise and dedication to duty. It’s something my family will never forget, because otherwise, my dad would have died at home that day.”

His mother, Mr. Lumley’s wife, Rose, agreed.

            “We live close to the firehouse, but even with that, they were here swiftly,” she recalled. “They saved his life in the ambulance. They did their job. They gave him life he otherwise would not have had, and it’s hard to put into words our gratitude for that gift.”

The late Mr. Lumley “was a very positive guy, very outgoing,” his son recalled. “After his career in the Air Force, he worked for AT&T in sales management—and after that, he worked in direct marketing and as a telemarketing consultant.”

The late Mr. Lumley “was not very big on flowers,” his son added, so the decision to encourage donations to the PFPD was easy.

“I think it’s reasonable to say that the donations that have been made in my father’s memory will—directly or indirectly—save lives in the future,” he concluded. “That’s what my dad would have wanted.”

Those interested in donating in Mr. Lumley’s memory are encouraged to mail checks to the Palos Fire Protection District, 8815 W. 123rd St., Palos Park, 60464, attention Chief Gericke.

 Page-3-fire-story-3-col-copy

Photo by Tim Hadac

Showing the new CPR training units purchased with funds donated to honor the memory of the late Robert Lumley, of Palos Park, are Palos Fire Protection firefighter/paramedic Robert Murphy (from left), Lieutenant Chris Courtney, David Lumley, Chief Pat Gericke, and firefighter/paramedic Brian Vlcek.

 

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