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CNM Grad Honored by Mayor for Helping Save Balloonist's Life

October 22, 2015 -- Jeremy Pecotte, who earned an associate degree in Emergency Medical Services from CNM, was one of several people honored by Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry earlier this week for helping to save the life of a Brazilian balloon pilot who was having a heart attack at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
CNM Grad Honored by Mayor for Helping Save Balloonist's Life

Oct 22, 2015

More important than receiving an award from the city at the ceremony, Pecotte got to meet the man whose life he saved and hear him express his thanks.

“I rarely get to see a patient again and receive a personal thanks,” he said. “This was special.”

Pecotte was just starting his 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. shift working as a paramedic for Albuquerque Ambulance when he got the call that someone was having a heart attack at the balloon park. He, his partner and a new hire he was training rushed to the Lovelace first aid station at the park where they found the patient, Antonio Marquez, experiencing a severe heart attack. They stabilized him and got him to Heart Hospital of New Mexico for life-saving emergency surgery.

The hospital staff, the Albuquerque Ambulance crew and Lovelace first aid station doctors and nurses were all honored at Tuesday’s event.

The man whose life they saved builds balloons, as well as flies them. Three of his balloons were on display at the ceremony.

Speaking through a translator, Marquez gave his thanks, saying he believes that if they weren’t here to take care of him so quickly, he wouldn’t be here today. “In a few words, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Pecotte noted that the reason there was such a successful outcome to what could have been a tragedy was the collaboration between all the entities.

The paramedic started his career as an investment banker after graduating from the University of New Mexico. After eight years, he decided he wanted do something more personally fulfilling and started classes for CNM’s EMS program, where he obtained his associate degree. Since 2012, he has been working as a paramedic.

“Being a paramedic has humbled me and given me so many rewards,” Pecotte said. “CNM’s program prepared me well to work in the real world.”