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A gift from the heart PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 19:00

Port man saved by EMTs after collapsing in park and his wife donate defibrillator for boat

When Randy Lanser had a heart attack in October 2013, everything went right. 

Lanser was chatting with a group of firefighters at the opening of Coal Dock Park when he collapsed. The firefighters sprang into action, reviving Lanser, whose heart had stopped, and getting him to the hospital immediately.

AED donation s1051517453 4C“Without the department there and without a defibrillator there, he would have died for sure,” Lanser’s wife Lois said.

Doctors at the time credited the quick work of the fire department not only with saving Randy’s life but preventing any damage to his heart as well.

The Lansers recently donated $1,000 to the fire department for the purchase of an automatic external defibrillator. The defibrillator will be placed on the department’s rescue boat, which is used for water-related emergencies.

The department has defibrillators on each of its ambulances, but had none on the boat before this, Fire Chief Mark Mitchell said.

In the winter, when the boat is out of the water, the unit will be placed on one of the department’s trucks, Mitchell said.

“This is very generous of them to do,” Mitchell said. “We weren’t expecting anything.”

“Now they have the equipment they need on board,” Lois said. “The people who use the lakefront can be protected too.”

Randy’s done well since his heart attack, his wife said.  

Lois said the family didn’t initially think about what it could do to give back. But after hearing about a Milwaukee-area family who purchased equipment for a fire department after a similar situation, they decided to buy the defibrillator.

“This is a real cheap thing to do to pay it forward and give back,” Lois said. “We have one of the best fire departments around.”

The Lansers should know. Randy was a member of the Port department for 20 years before retiring. The couple’s son Ryan retired from the department after 10 years, and their son Adam is still a member.

The family is appreciative of all the fire department does, Lois said.

“We’re glad Randy’s still here,” she said. “We have a lot to be grateful for.”

And now, she said, someone else may have the chance to be grateful as well.


PORT FIREFIGHTERS revived Randy Lanser (center) when he suffered a heart attack in 2013, so he and his wife Lois recently donated an automatic external defibrillator to the Fire Department so others can also be aided. Chief Mark Mitchell held the device, which will be kept aboard the department’s rescue boat.                                        Photo by Sam Arendt