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Having a heart attack in one Oklahoma town increases your odds of surviving

EDMOND, Okla – It was Valentine’s Day in 2011.

Jeff Buchanan was getting his kids ready for bed when the unexpected happened; he went into full cardiac arrest.

Buchanan said, “This was the heart stopping and that’s it. I was without a heartbeat for an hour and a half.”

Edmond Fire Station #1 was there in moments and began life-saving CPR.

Brian Loea, with the Edmond Fire Department, said, “The bigger guys get the chest compressions.” ‘So, you’re the muscle?’ “I wouldn’t say that but yeah.”

These men were relentless in their efforts to revive the young husband and father of three.

Erica Buchanan, Jeff’s wife, told us, “I think what they did and how long they worked on him, it’s not normal. It was over and above what normal is.”

Jeff spent more than a week in the hospital before making a full recovery.

He knows prayer and skilled medics are the reason he’s here today.

Jeff said, “I look at these guys and feel like they are the hands and arms of God, working miracles.”

Chad George, with the Edmond Fire Department, said, “We do pretty good on cardiac saves.”

That is a humble understatement.

Edmond recorded an all-time high for cardiac arrest resuscitations in 2012 for metropolitan areas in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

This team is among the best in the country.

George said, “I think the Lord had a lot to do with that too, not just us.”

A broken heart was repaired and a family is intact because they refused to give up on Jeff Buchanan.

Erica Buchanan said, “There are no human words that say thank you. We’ve had three more years I didn’t think we would have that day.”

The Buchanans will celebrate this Valentine’s Day like every other, by having dinner at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital with friends and family.

And they are forever grateful for the heroes of Fire Station #1.

Jeff said, “Thank you, for everything. It’s a big deal to know they’ve got your back.”

The study shows Edmond is second only to Seattle/King County, Washington for cardiac arrest survival rates.