WASHINGTON (WNEW) — The life of a firefighter from Lake County, Indiana was saved Wednesday night after he suffered a heart attack at the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington.
The firefighter, a piper with the Lake County Pipe and Drums, had just marched into the memorial for the Emerald Society March when he collapsed.
Gary Robertson, an officer from the St. Louis County Police Department, was one of the first to respond.
“I actually just brought him a bottle of water,” Robertson said. “We didn’t know what was going on.
He said the situation escalated when the man began to show signs of lifelessness.
“I checked for a pulse, determined that he was pulse-less and then from there we initially started the chest compressions and everybody worked together as a team, very well,” Robertson said.
Orlando Police lieutenant Doug Goerke assisted Robertson. Both men had previously received medical training.
Goerke says they had to shock the firefighter with a defibrillator three times before he was revived.
“By the time he did leave here, he was breathing and kicking on his own,” Goerke said.
The firefighter gave a fist pump as he was taken to the ambulance, a witness told WNEW’s Cameron Thompson.
“Today was a tragedy, what happened, but is an example of what police officers do, and first responders do, everyday,” Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Dan Merchuk said.
Merchuk heaped praise on all the officers who offered assistance to the fallen firefighter.
“Especially the Park Police that showed up here. They did an outstanding job,” he said. “D.C. Fire did an outstanding job, and all the other officers that helped get him to the hospital.”
The firefighter was taken to the hospital in serious, but stable condition.
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