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Evergreen Park Fire Department’s actions help save man’s life

By Joe Boyle

The Evergreen Park Fire Department was recently honored for their quick actions in saving the life of a man who suffered cardiac arrest.

Mayor James Sexton praised the actions of the fire department who responded to calls of a 54-year-old man who suffered a heart attack at the Evergreen Racquet and Fitness Club on Jan. 11. The mayor hailed the efforts of Evergreen Park Fire Chief Ron Kleinhaus and his department during the emergency.

“The Oak Lawn dispatcher did a fine job assisting the fire department at the scene,” Sexton said during the Evergreen Park Village Board meeting on Monday night. “Ron got in his car and got out there and members of the fire department went out there to help.”

When members of the fire department arrived, an employee at the facility, Sarah Benner, and Officer Manfred Quetee Jr., of the Evergreen Park police, were providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the man. Heather Allen, of the Oak Lawn Regional Emergency Communications Center, was providing pre-arrival instructions over the phone.

The arriving crew and Kleinhaus provided immediate care for the stricken man. They proceeded to continue CPR and defibrillation, according to Dr. Bernard Heilicser, the EMS medical director.

“As a result of their remarkable teamwork, this patient had return of spontaneous circulation and was breathing on his own,” Heilicser said.

Heilicser added the man was stabilized at Little Company of Mary Hospital and transported to the University of Chicago with a good prognosis.

Due to the response of the Evergreen Park Fire Department, Heilicser sent a letter to Kleinhaus praising the fire department for their efforts. He enclosed a gold seal in the letter to the fire chief in honor of their actions.

Sexton added it was the effort of everyone involved that saved the man’s life.

“I have talked to this man since and he is doing really well,” Sexton said. “But let me tell you, at the time, it was pretty grave.”

Also discussed at the meeting wase the opening of Whole Foods in the new outdoor Evergreen Plaza. Sexton said Whole Foods will open on Wednesday, March 6. Board members also approved unanimously the addition of Kikka at Whole Foods. Kikka is a sushi vendor that will be located inside the store.

A resolution was approved for the village to adopt a policy for qualification-based selection of engineering and professional services.

Sexton wondered aloud if this measure was even necessary because, he said, the village already has a qualified engineer. But the mayor said that to receive funding for the project it needs state approval.

Evergreen Park Boys Club requested and received permission to use Duffy Park, 9200 S. Millard Ave., for the 2019 baseball season.

A Menards food drive will be held during the month of March to help benefit the Evergreen Park Food Pantry. The mayor said this is a great cause.

“I encourage everybody to go out and shop at Menards next month and help out the food pantry,” Sexton said. “

A dialysis care center at 9834 S. Kedzie Ave. was approved unanimously for the village. Advocate Health Centers, 9730 S. Western Ave., will move to a new suite in the building.

Free tax return preparation for seniors and disabled adults will be provided by appointment only. The circuit breaker program and property tax freeze assistance are also available for Evergreen Park residents. More information can be obtained by calling the Office of Citizen Services at (708) 422-8776.

Trustees Mary Keane and Carol Kyle were absent from the meeting. Deputy Clerk Kim Cericola filled in for Village Clerk Catherine Aparo, who was also absent.

The next Evergreen Park Village Board meeting will take place beginning at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 4.

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