Hero of the Week: EMT treats lightning-strike survivor in storm

Jessica Galvin made the life-saving call to treat him on the scene; she is the first woman to receive her community’s local EMT of the Year award

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With rain falling so hard EMS providers had to follow the voices of bystanders doing CPR to find a man struck by lightning, EMT Jessica Galvin made the call to treat him on the scene.

Her quick decision helped save the life of 21-year-old John Clyde Jr., who was suffering cardiac arrest. He had been working on a car when the fierce thunderstorms began.  

Galvin is the first woman to receive the Albany Exchange Club’s EMT of the Year award, and we would also like to honor her as our EMS Hero of the Week.

“It would have been easier for the EMTs to have just put the victim in the ambulance,” Ron Rowe, deputy chief of the Albany Fire Departent, told the Albany Herald. “But Jessica quickly sized up the situation and decided we’d do business right there.”

She did eventually decide to move Clyde to the ambulance, which the crew had trouble finding in the intense rain.

Galvin said she was shaken at the time to be treating someone so young in such an intense situation.

“It was just heart-wrenching because I could think about my family,” she said. “You just act in the moment.”

Indeed, despite her emotions she maintained her composure.

“You can’t break down in the middle of it,” she said, “or you won’t do what you need to do at the time.” 

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