INDIAN HEAD PARK, Ill. (STMW) – A firefighting ability test is not supposed to be easy, firefighters had to save one candidate whose heart stopped during a physical ability test two weeks ago in southwest suburban Indian Head Park.

Lt. John Tabisz and firefighter/paramedic Jenifer Phillips of the Darien-Woodridge Fire District, along with three members of the Pleasantview Fire District, saved the life of the 46-year-old man, a release from the Darien-Woodridge Fire District said.

The man was participating in a firefighters’ candidate physical ability test at the Chicago Roofers Apprentice Training Center in Indian Head Park when he collaposed to the floor about halfway through the test, the release said.

Just before collapsing, the man bent over and said he didn’t feel well. Firefighters determined he wasn’t breathing and began CPR. While performing CPR, they called 911 and an automatic external defibrillator was used, delivering an electronic shock, the release said.

One shock restarted his heart and the man was conscious by the time he was taken to a hospital, the release said.

Firefighters say the event underscores the importance of being trained in the use of an AED — now required in many public buildings — and in CPR.

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