Women's Commissioner Speaks at American Heart Association Luncheon

Photo Credit: Tina Gemmell, Riverview Media Photography

SACRAMENTO -- Recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and call 9-1-1 as early as possible.

This was the message that Contra Costa Fire Captain and CFFJAC Women's Commissioner Lisa Beaty brought home to the crowd of over 400 women that gathered at the annual American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Luncheon in Sacramento.

The California Fire Foundation was a top sponsor of this event, aiming to raise awareness of what women can do to increase their chances of survival in the event of a heart attack.

This was the first time the American Heart Association has invited a firefighter paramedic to speak at their annual luncheon.

Beaty addressed the advances in the emergency medical field including Automated External Defibrillators (AED) and the difference they've made to patients and their families. But she cautioned that individuals -- especially women -- must still evaluate their health very seriously.

"Pay careful attention to your symptoms. A heart attack doesn't have to present crushing chest pain; it can take the form of prolonged sweating, fainting and nausea," Beaty said. "9-1-1 should be called immediately if an individual suspects they are having a heart attack."

Other heart attack symptoms can include shortness of breath, lightheadedness, breaking out in a cold sweat and discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Theresa Scherber, Director of Business Development with the American Heart Association in Sacramento, said that hearing Lisa's testimony really hit home.

"The audience appreciated getting a perspective on heart disease from someone who responds to cardiac emergencies day in and day out," Scherber said.

Lisa Beaty has been a member of the CFFJAC's Commission to Recruit Women in the Fire Service since 2005 and a member of the Contra Costa Fire Department since 1988. The California Fire Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by California Professional Firefighters in Sacramento, California. The Foundation oversees the California Firefighters Memorial in Capitol Park and is dedicated to assisting families of fallen firefighters and victims of natural disaster. On a regular basis, the California Fire Foundation sponsors and designs public educational campaigns and events focused on fire safety, disaster planning and health.