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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bellevue paramedic receives 'Triple Crown' award

A Bellevue firefighter and paramedic who saved three heart attack victims in one month will receive a "Triple Crown" award from King County Emergency Medical Services Thursday.

The paramedic, John Tetzlaff, will be the first recipient of the new award, to be presented by King County EMS Director Jim Fogarty at St. Andrew's Church, 2650 148th Ave. SE, at 10:30 a.m.

Many equate firefighters to professional athletes, living their professional lives preparing for the big event. Tetzlaff's performance was flawless, even when lives were on the line in three separate instances last September. He is on a winning team, as Bellevue paramedics have a save rate of 54 percent, contributing to King County's world's best survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest.

King County EMS established the Triple Crown award to recognize a genuine milestone, three cardiac arrest "saves" in one month involving the same firefighter/paramedic. As with professional sports, outcomes, or in this case saves, are the result of teamwork, yet certain members of the team are recognized for their individual contribution to the team's outcome.

Also at Thursday's ceremony will be Scott Packwood and Dave Levinson, both recently saved, in Bellevue, from cardiac arrest. Packwood was saved by the quick action and flawless CPR provided by Bellevue’s Fire and Police Chaplain, Mike Ryan. Levinson was saved using a public access defibrillator and CPR at the hands of LA Fitness employee and Marysville firefighter Crystal Simpson.

The public and media are welcome to help celebrate Tetzlaff's award and, to watch as Packwood and Levinson, along with their families, meet their rescuers for the first time.

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