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Cape employees, firefighters, recognized with Phoenix award

By Staff | Jun 11, 2020

Four Cape Coral city employees, along with two Cape firefighters were honored on Monday for their heroic actions that helped save the life of a coworker.

“In Greek mythology, a Phoenix is symbol of death and obtaining new life from the rising from its ashes. We recognize first responders and community members who contribute to the successful resuscitation of a patient in cardiac arrest who has regained full cognitive function and has returned to a productive life,” said Cape Coral Fire Department Chief, Ryan Lamb. “These heroes, we bestow them with a Phoenix Award. Out of the ashes of death, life is reclaimed.”

In February, city utilities worker Bill Sperry, along with his colleagues, were conducting interviews when Sperry became unresponsive.

Two of his coworkers, Kevin Higginson and Jody Sorrels, immediately rushed to Sperry’s side. Moments later, Utilities Director Jeff Pearson and colleague Amy Burdier also assisted in first response.

CPR was started on Sperry and emergency response was called, potentially saving his life.

CCFD, along with Lee County EMS, responded and took over life-saving measures on scene. Sperry’s heart began to beat once again. He was transported to the hospital and has made a full recovery.

“If no bystander CPR is started before the fire department and EMS arrive on the scene, the chance of that person walking out of the hospital is between 2 and 5 percent,” Lamb said. “If we have CPR started before the fire department arrives, the chance of getting a pulse back goes to 74 percent and the chance of having that person walk out of the hospital goes to 30 percent. I cannot overemphasize the importance of bystander CPR.”

CCFD firefighters Chad Johnson and Nicholas Longo were honored alongside the city employees for their life-saving efforts.

The CCPD does offer free CRP classes for the public. More information on classes and how to sign up can be found at www.capecoralfire.com.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj