Police & Fire

Local Heroes Save Two Heart Attack Victims on Same Day

Scotch Plains Police Chief Brian Mahoney, along with officers Robert Lewis, Luis Periera, Dave Lavery and Capt. Ted Conley. Credits: John Mooney
EMTs Thomas Snihur, Nicholas Letkowski, Joan Lozowski, Lucas Cimafonte at the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad. Credits: John Mooney

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Scotch Plains Police Department and Scotch Plains Rescue Squad saved two heart attack victims on the same day on Thursday, March 19.

At 7:49 a.m., police officers Dave Lavery and Luis Pereira responded to a call of man who had fallen ill. 

"I knew immediately he was having a heart attack," said Lavery. "We had started using the defibrillator and providing CPR until the Rescue Squad arrived. They did a great job."

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"It's rare to have two heart attacks in one day, and both were saves," said Joan Lozowski, who has served on the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad for 27 years. 

"The patient felt nauseous, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. We shocked him and then he  woke up, and he went into cardiac arrest again," said Thomas Snihur, a pre-med student at Marist College who has been a volunteer for the past five years. "We did CPR until we brought him to JFK Medical Center. "
A few hours later, the police department and rescue squad teamed up again. 


"We were driving down Raritan Road and received a report of another heart attack victim. He had almost 100 percent blockage - almost the same thing," said Officer Robert Lewis. "It was a contractor who was about to leave a home on Black Birch Road. Fortunately, it happened on the front lawn of the home and not while he was driving away."

"Luckily, the police officers recognized what was happening right away," said Nick Letkowski, a pre-med student at Rutgers who also has been a Rescue Squad volunteer for the past five years  "The second patient also needed four shocks from the defibrillator. Usually we have a cardiac arrest only once a month, not twice in one day. And both were saves."

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is entering its 77th year of  providing all volunteer emergency medical services to Scotch Plains and surrounding communities. The Rescue Squad's, 90 dedicated volunteers have over 782 combined years of service to the community, and they respond to emergency calls on a 24/7 basis. Records indicate that the squad answered over 78,000 emergency calls in more than 75 years of service. The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is supported by tax-deductible donations.


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