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‘What we do matters': 10 Pa. first responders recognized for saving man during cardiac arrest

“Because of these first responders’ quick team efforts, the patient was revived — and after hospitalization, fully recovered,” Police Chief David said

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Bob Kelly via Upper Gwynedd Township Fire Department

By Dan Sokil
The Reporter

UPPER GWYNEDD, Pa. — First responders from four local agencies have earned high praise for helping save an Upper Gwynedd resident recently.

Police Chief David Duffy presented a proclamation honoring members of his department, the Upper Gwynedd Fire Department , the North Penn Volunteer Fire Company and VMSC Emergency Medical Services for saving a local resident in early October.

“We’re here to recognize 10 individuals who worked as a team to revive one of our township residents, who was in full cardiac arrest,” said Duffy.

On October 9 , Upper Gwynedd’s police and fire departments responded to a report of an unconscious person at a home in the township, where an adult male had collapsed in a kitchen and his wife was unsure if he was breathing. The police officers arrived within two minutes, with firefighters arriving moments later.

Police Sgt. John Brinkmann and Officer Michael Romanowicz began CPR until UGFD Lieutenant Amanda Hoade , EMT Ryan Meehan, Lieutenant Daniel Infusino , and firefighters Shawn Cottee and Jeff Gold arrived, and their training kicked in.

“They began life saving measures, which included setting up oxygen, establishing an airway, and providing compressions. Lieutenant Hoade attached an Automatic External Defibrillator to the patient, which resulted in two shocks being delivered,” Duffy said.

North Penn firefighters and Chief Matt Traynor then arrived, monitoring the patient’s pulse and providing chest compressions until VMSC arrived; VMSC paramedic Moriyah Cox and EMT Aubrey Wilcox then stabilized the patient, and prepared him for transport to a hospital.

“Because of these first responders’ quick team efforts, the patient was revived — and after hospitalization, fully recovered,” Duffy said.

During his remarks to Upper Gwynedd’s commissioners on Nov. 21 , Duffy singled out for praise UGFD Chief Eric Geiger , NPVFC Chief Traynor and VMSC Chief Shane Wheeler for their leadership of each department and close cooperation, as each named their personnel to be recognized with proclamations, handshakes and applause.

“In the last, just over two years, this is the second time this has happened. Statistically speaking, it’s not usual. We go out for events that are cardiac arrest, but statistically speaking, we’re not really good at it. This time, we showed we’re good at it, and that’s a good thing,” Geiger said.

VMSC recently had a banquet marking their 90th anniversary, Wheeler added, and in the past year has responded to about 15,000 total calls, of which eight were the most serious level of response.

“We had eight people that are home, celebrating this Thanksgiving. So you matter. What we do matters. We matter to those families, who are going to get to spend this holiday with someone who was gone — they were dead. And through outstanding training and skill, they are going to be celebrating with their families. That’s a hats off to everybody that laces them up every day and goes out there and answers that call. It’s what we do,” he said.

After the applause, Duffy read a letter from the person who had been revived from the team, saying they did not want to be recognized publicly but wanted to voice thanks to the first responders.

“Last month I experienced something we all hope to avoid, a cardiac arrest. The fact that I am alive and well, and able to give thanks, is due to some truly incredible individuals,” he read.

“Without their heroic actions, I would not be here today. I know it’s a cliché, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Words can’t express the depth of my sincerity ,and my gratefulness for their actions. I think these first responders would say, their training kicked in, and they were just doing their jobs. While that may be true, please allow me to add my words of praise and thanks. I’m grateful they had such outstanding training, and were so very good at their jobs.”


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