Ernie Marquez

Updated:Jun 22,2010

Ernie Marquez image Ernie Marquez’s career path was set when he started watching the TV show ‘Emergency’ as a young boy. Years later, after he took his first EMT course, he was hooked. “Once you ride for the first time, it’s a done deal,” said Ernie, a Los Angeles firefighter and paramedic. When he experienced crushing chest pain while on duty last year, he didn’t wait to take action. He knew he was having a heart attack; it felt just like it had been described to him in training. He called 9-1-1. In the ambulance, Ernie was hooked up to an in-field 12-lead ECG, a test that measures the heart’s electrical activity. It quickly identified that he was suffering from STEMI, a serious type of heart attack that carries a substantial risk of death and disability. A 12-lead ECG is an important tool in diagnosing heart attacks. “I was treated quickly because the hospital knew they had an acute STEMI coming, and they were ready for me.” Ernie speaks on behalf of Mission:

  • Lifeline, the American Heart Association’s community-based initiative to improve systems of care for STEMI patients. With national guidelines coming out to recommend
  • STEMI Receiving Centers, the first hurdle will be getting 12-lead ECGs into the hands of more paramedics. “If I can educate someone about the system, maybe I’ll save a life. The average person will sit and wait. People must call 9-1-1 right away to get the system to work for them.”