, Salem, MA

Local News

October 2, 2013

Off-duty Topsfield EMT helps shock man back to life at gym

DANVERS — Off-duty Topsfield call firefighter and EMT Charles Brown and others who like an early workout used an automated external defibrillator to revive a 41-year-old man who collapsed while running on a treadmill at Boston North Fitness Center at 30 Prince St. yesterday morning.

“Charlie Brown began CPR immediately and also applied the gym’s AED and converted the gentleman after one shock,” wrote Topsfield fire Chief Ronald Giovannacci, in an email to his department announcing the save.

“The victim was transported to Salem Hospital and at last report was doing well,” wrote Giovannacci. “Please thank Charlie for his exemplary response.”

“Good timing, good training, right place, right time,” Giovannacci said in an interview.

Danvers fire Chief Kevin Farrell said the report came in around 6 a.m. as a seizure for an individual who was working out on a treadmill and started sweating profusely before collapsing.

Danvers Engine 2 with Lt. Glen Cooney and firefighters Ed Deroche and Adam Strome responded, as did staff from Lyons Ambulance, Farrell said. Along with Brown, bystanders, staff from the fitness center, a doctor, whom Farrell did know, and others came to the aid of the stricken man.

“The whole scenario was a hero,” said Brown, a physical therapist and a longtime call firefighter in Topsfield who does not want to take sole credit for saving the man’s life.

Brown said he was acquainted with the individual as part of an informal “5:00 in the morning club” of those who like to work out early. Brown had just finished his workout when he heard a thud from across the gym.

After hearing the noise, a fellow gym-goer named Brett Grieco, who Brown said is in training to become an EMT, called out to Brown to come over.

While another man, Eric Morey, cradled the victim who had fallen straight off the treadmill, a man named Tom Burgess fetched the fitness club’s defibrillator. At first, the men thought the man was having a seizure as his body began to clench up. Brown searched for a pulse but could not find one, and the victim began to turn blue, he said.

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