Little Silver First Responders Honored For December Rescue

March 7, 2017
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Little Silver EMS (in black), police and MODOC paramedics (in white) gathered to hear a resolution honoring their Dec. 14 rescue. From left: Peter Gibbon, Christopher Faherty, Thomas Smith, Officer Michael Lahey, Michael Welsh, Ann Nichols, Michelle Welsh, Meagan Levitzki, Sgt. Kevin Halpin, Officer Andrew Smith.

By Jenna O’Donnell

LITTLE SILVER – The efforts of several first responders who helped save the life of a man who collapsed in a local doctor’s waiting room in December were recognized by the Little Silver mayor and council at the Feb. 27 meeting.

Amid applause from assembled borough residents and elected officials, ten emergency responders from the Little Silver Police Department, Little Silver EMS and MONOC gathered to hear a resolution documenting their lifesaving efforts on Dec. 14.

“We don’t often do this,” said Mayor Robert Neff, Jr. before reading the resolution, noting that the borough is usually not so formal. “But our EMS, our police, the business itself – the workers there – really all came together and saved a man’s life.”

That call for help came when a Bradley Beach man suddenly went into cardiac arrest at a Sycamore Avenue eye doctor’s office in December. Office staff immediately began CPR and were quickly joined by Little Silver police officers and emergency responders. Together they made use an automated external defibrillator, or AED, located at the doctor’s office and were able to get the patient’s heart beating again before transporting him to the hospital where he was later discharged.

EMS Chief Michael Welsh, who had just come home from work when the call came, said he arrived just before staff and emergency workers regained the patient’s pulse. From there, Welsh said, everything happened in quick succession.

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“With all the training that we have, it’s nice when everything comes together like it’s supposed to,” he said. “Because you see that it works. The downside is it doesn’t happen like that too often.”

Welsh, who has worked as a medic for 22 years, said that while most rescues don’t go as seamlessly as this one did, timing and circumstances had worked out particularly well on that day.

“Everything was in place when it happened,” he said. “The doctors’ office is also a surgery (center) so they had staff and an AED in place, which really worked in his favor.”

His wife, Michelle Welsh, agreed that the location was particularly serendipitous.

“If it had to happen, that was the perfect place and the perfect time,” she said, noting that, as a borough resident she was proud of the emergency services crew. “We’ve got a very cohesive group here. Everyone tries to do what’s in the best interest of the person and do right by the town.”

The Mayor and council unanimously passed a resolution commending and thanking all involved for their professional and caring response to the emergency, and further recognized the continuing care that borough first responders provide to residents whenever and wherever needed. Though not all rescues are so formally recognized in the borough, for this successful save, an exception was made.

This article was first published in the March 2-9, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.

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