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Off-duty N.J. EMT performs CPR on pastor during wedding

West Paterson’s Valeria Franco treated Rev. Anthony Palmer for about half an hour without equipment before a crew arrived


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By Leila Merrill

PATERSON, N.J. — EMT Valeria Franco was off duty and working a catering gig when she responded to a pastor who went into cardiac arrest in the middle of a late-December wedding.

Franco’s mother also was working and called for her daughter, NBC reported.

Franco performed chest compressions on Rev. Anthony Palmer. She worked on the pastor for about half an hour without any equipment before on-duty EMS providers could arrive.

Officials said they are looking into the response time.

Palmer and the West Paterson EMT reunited on Tuesday at Paterson City Hall, where Franco was recognized by the city for saving the pastor’s life.

“Hopefully people will see this and be inspired to be an EMT or take CPR training,” said Paterson Mayor Andrew Sayegh.