The evening of Nov. 6 began like any other for former El Dorado resident Jim Romano. Little did he know the events of that evening would change his life.

At approximately 6 p.m., while enjoying a quiet evening at home with his wife, Romano suffered a heart attack. Acting quickly, his wife called 9-1-1 and within three minutes, first responders were on the scene. They entered the home to find Romano unconscious and under cardiac distress. The crew immediately began working to revive him.

“That evening, I suffered a cardiac death as a result of a heart attack,” explained Romano. “It if wasn’t for the training and experience of the EMS staff, I wouldn’t be here to speak with the commission today. I think it is important to express gratitude when it is deserved. I ask that the people of Butler County give the people that save my life the recognition they so rightly deserve.”

“Mr. Romano came before the Butler County Commission two weeks ago to express his gratitude to the EMS staff that helped to revive him following his heart attack,” said County Administrator Will Johnson. “In the 11 years I’ve been with the county, I’ve never seen someone come before the commission with something like this. We are very happy with the outcome of the services and we’re very happy as a county that Mr. Romano is still with us.”

To express the appreciation of the people of Butler County, EMS responders Matt Hogan, Scott Stueven and Fran Trent were awarded the Spotlight Award from the Butler County Commission. The expression of gratitude was extended to not only include the staff of EMS, but the entire staff of EMS responders, dispatchers, firefighters and officers.

“The dispatchers from El Dorado and Augusta also deserve some recognition,” said Romano. “I’m just sorry that I don’t know their names. I’m eternally grateful to them for their quick response. The EMS staff was able to hold my wife together and keep her calm while people were feverishly fighting to bring me back into this life.”

Romano was not the only one expressing gratitude toward the Butler County EMS personnel.

“We greatly appreciate the service that the EMS provides for the county,” said Commissioner Mike Wheeler. “We are certainly grateful for everything you do.”

“This is a very important business,” commented Emergency Management Director Jim Schmidt. “We do save lives out there.”

Romano, with the company of his wife, is determined to live his life to the fullest following the ordeal.

“The first 76 years of my life were pure joy and I hope to have another 76 years,” said Romano. “Thank you for giving these people the appreciation they deserve.”

Kari Adams can be reached at