A red heart on a home can be a symbol for hope during a heart attack

Strangers here to help.

Small red heart symbols offer a sense of relief for neighborhoods in Lee County.

They mean the person inside the home knows CPR and can jump into action if needed.

Something that saved one man’s life, and a SWFL fire department is making sure more people know how to perform the lifesaving technique.

“A feeling of gratitude is just overwhelming sometimes when I stop and think about it,” said John Crowley, who survived cardiac arrest six years ago. “I don’t remember much about that day at all.”

But his friends do.

David Westervelt is the man who saved john’s life, “Once I got into performing the CPR, I just couldn’t quit.”

He learned that CPR through a class at the Iona-McGregor Fire District, where their Indian Creek neighborhood partners with firefighters on education.

Class instructor, captain Brian Crisman said “The more we can get the community involved, the better off everyone will be.”

The fire department says approximately 94 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. One reason these hearts are so crucial.

The red hearts can be seen on buildings and cars throughout Crowley’s neighborhood.

In case of an emergency, they know right where to go for help while waiting for first responders like Crisman.

Having someone around like Westervelt can make all the difference, all thanks to a program that Crowley, himself, helped start years ago.

“It just worked beautifully that day,” Crowley said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. It’s amazing.”

Iona-McGregor fire offers a CPR class that takes about 3.5 hours to complete.

Reporter:Channing Frampton
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