CHATTAROY, Wash. – Frank Volz has volunteered at Spokane Fire District 4 for over 30 years. One day it all paid off.
This week marks the beginning of 42nd- annual Emergency Medical Service (EMS) week in Spokane County. It lasts until Saturday. At Spokane Fire District 4, medical emergencies average 77 percent of calls there.
Many of the EMS workers at the fire station are volunteers. Volz may have gotten some good karma from all his volunteer work.
“Got home. Sat down to pet the dogs for a minute and got this terrible pain in my chest," Volz said.
Volz suffered a heart attack and the people he worked beside for so long ended up saving his life. It was about two years ago when Volz got home with his wife and began experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.
"She looked over at me and said what do you want me to do? And I said call 911," he said.
The pain Volz was feeling was new but the situation was not. He had seen it many times as a volunteer.
"I've helped other people for 25 years. And you go, I guess it's my turn," he said.
His wife called 911 and called Fire District Captain Vince Speziale on his personal line. He was off duty at the time. Volz and his wife know their district 4 comrade Speziale simply as "Vinny."
“That's just a gut wrenching feeling when you see your buddy just about collapse on the floor and you know what is happening,” Speziale said.
He and a few others would help save his life. Volz’s story is only unique because it was one of their own having the emergency. The entire EMS crew deals with situations like that all the time.
The folks at Fire District 4 couldn't agree more with this well-deserved praise. The district said medical emergencies account for just over three quarters of all their calls.
Volz can attest to that. He is living proof about how well it works.
“I can't count the number of dinners or things that we've because right in the middle of it, a call comes out or whatever and we still do it. That's part of our service to the community and we love it," he said.