Two off-duty firefighters dealt with a bit more commotion than they were expecting to Saturday at Gillette Stadium during the New England Patriots’ Christmas Eve game against the New York Jets. They saved a man’s life in the process.
Westford firefighter and paramedic John Tuomi and Groton fire Lt. Jim Crocker were settled in for kickoff when they heard a man yelling to his father, asking what was wrong, according to the Lowell Sun. The father was a 61-year-old who had just gone into full cardiac arrest.
Tuomi and Crocker immediately assisted and began administering CPR when they found the man without a pulse, according to the Sun. “I looked at him and could immediately tell something was seriously wrong,” Tuomi said.
In the process, they instructed others to find an automated external defibrillator to shock his heart back into working and to call for emergency medical assistance. A police officer arrived shortly afterward and continued CPR while the pair used the AED, regaining his pulse before losing it and then restarting his heart a second time as emergency crews arrived.
The man regained consciousness as EMS took him out of the stadium, and he recovered at the hospital before being sent home Monday, per the Sun.
“It’s very rare in our profession to actually do CPR and have a positive outcome like this,” Crocker told the Sun.
Tuomi also works as an on-call firefighter and paramedic in Townsend. Mark Boynton, the fire chief in Townsend, weighed in on the scary scene and expressed his admiration of the pair’s swift and life-saving action.
“Based on the odds of surviving a cardiac arrest in itself, compounded by the conditions and location, the likely outcome was one of a man that dies on Christmas Eve while attending a football game with his son,” Boynton told the Sun. “Thanks to John, Jim and many others that helped on Saturday, the story was rewritten to one that all emergency responders strive to be part of one day. A story of saving a life, in this case on Christmas Eve in a crowded stadium.”
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images