Thanks for Saving My Life

 Pete Merritt of Laurens woke up at 2 am the morning of Sunday, April 7th with intense pain. His wife, Renee called 911 and EMS quickly arrived at their home on Race Track Road. Yesterday, he was joined by local media at the EMS office on Exchange Drive as he personally thanked Paramedic Lauren Simmons of Laurens County EMS for her efforts in saving his life.

““Yes sir, that’s what we’re here for, and that’s what we love to do. So you don’t have to thank us.”

 Pete Merritt described how he went to bed with pains that he didn’t realize indicated a heart attack, then woke up during the night with intense pain.

 “Just pains across my chest from by breast bone over to my left side under my arm. And it continued off and on ‘till late that evening and I went to bed; woke up about 2 o’clock in the morning….very stressful, bad pain. That’s when we called the paramedics. They arrived shortly and did what they needed to do, thank goodness.”

   Laurens County EMS Director Chad Burrell said that heart attack symptoms are not always the intense chest pain people commonly expect:

 “Heart attacks don’t always come on like the classic ‘movie heart attack’ that you always see, grabbing your chest, falling in the floor, everybody knows something’s going on. It can be very subtle. It can be anything from just experiencing nausea, you become nauseated suddenly for some reason. You could also just experience pain in one arm or both arms. You could only suffer from shortness of breath. Sometimes you can just break out in a sweat, with no pain whatsoever; and those are subtle signs that can be indicative of a true heart attack. Anytime anyone experiences that, they really need to look at themselves, think how serious this feels. Is it an abnormal feeling or not? And call 911 as soon as possible to allow our guys, our advanced medical care team to come out and provide assessment and provide transport and treatment if needed.”  

    Earlier this week, Laurens County Council formally declared the Month of May as EMS Month in Laurens County. Chad Burrell said EMS will be especially focusing on this during EMS Week May 19th through 25th. He said Laurens County residents can learn more about their EMS service by visiting the website: