A trip to the grocery store by firefighters often brings complaints to the fire chief from people who think it’s a waste of taxpayer money. In Norwalk, Connecticut, a grocery run for one group of firefighters had the fire chief hearing a lot of praise. That’s because the firefighters saved a life after one of the crew witnessed the store manager go into cardiac arrest in the parking lot.
On the morning of Feb. 23, while Norwalk firemen Kevin (Skip) Gilchrist, Jesse Granton, Patrick Marro, and Captain Michael McCallum were leaving Shop Rite on Connecticut Avenue after shopping for their evening’s dinner, the store’s manager was having a massive heart attack in the parking lot.
I was sitting in the back of the truck and I saw the man clutch his chest and drop to the ground,” Granton said. “At first I had no idea what happened, I thought maybe he had been tapped with a car.”
Working as a perfectly synchronized team, the crew’s medical training kicked in and they radioed for an ambulance, determined that the man had no pulse and wasn’t breathing, started CPR and hooked to their defibrillator.
“I called for an ambulance, Jesse checked for a pulse and started CPR, Pat was using the Bag Valve Mask and checking for vitals, and Skip got the AED,” said McCallum.