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Hallandale Beach firefighter remains in critical condition after sudden collapse

'He was perfectly healthy,' his wife says

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – If you ever came across Hallandale firefighter Erik Conde, you might've thought he was a superhero.

The 42-year-old father of three is a big guy who's strong and saves lives, so his co-workers nicknamed him "Hulk."

"He was perfectly healthy," his wife, Rachel Conde, said.

But just last Friday, Erik Conde was wrapping up his shift with Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

Fellow firefighters went into action to save one of their own.

"We were at the right place at the right time for Erik," Hallandale Beach Fire Chief
Mark Ellis said.​

Conde was rushed to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center. He was unconscious and unable to breathe on his own.

"I thought it was a joke. I was like, 'You're kidding, right?" Rachel Conde said.

Rachel Conde said doctors found bacteria in his lungs and he tested positive for pneumonia.

"As a fire service wife, or even as a police officer's wife, that's your biggest fear, you're going to get that phone call," Rachel Conde said.

Now he is facing a long road to recovery. He has regained consciousness, but he remains in critical condition.

Rachel Conde is keeping it together. She thanks the firefighter community, friends and loved ones for their support and prayers.

"Had it happened any other way, I don't know if he'd be here," she said.

Conde's co-workers have set up a GoFundMe page to help his family pay his medical expenses. The page has raised more than $40,000 in three days with a goal of $100,000.

About the Author:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.