Volunteer firefighter saves man who had heart attack at gym


BELLEVUE, Wash. - She was off duty, but still on the job when a man in his 50s collapsed after a workout inside a L.A. Fitness at around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

“It’s what appeared to be a heart attack, a massive heart attack, and (he) just went straight down and hit his head,” said Don Kitch, who was inside LA Fitness at the time.

Kitch said there was a lot of blood, and the man did not have a pulse and was not breathing. 

He said Crystal Simpson, a volunteer firefighter who works at the gym, jumped into action.

Simpson called for this defibrillator and used it to get the man’s heart beating again before Bellevue EMTs even arrived.

KIRO 7 caught up with those EMTs later in the day. They said Simpson probably saved the man’s life, and Simpson told them she’s about to become a full-time firefighter in Snohomish County.

Kitch said that community is lucky to have her.

“It was remarkable, as a human being, to see another human being respond that way,” Kitch said.

KIRO 7 spoke with Simpson on the phone Sunday evening.  She declined an interview and said she did what needed to be done.