Metro

Off-duty Attleboro firefighter, Newton police officer save man at basketball game

John Georges had just grabbed a coffee when the medical alert came over the radio — a spectator had suffered cardiac arrest at a basketball game at Newton North High School. As fate would have it, Georges, a shift commander for Cataldo Ambulance Service, was right down the street, just seconds away.

The man, who was in his early 50s, had been watching his son’s game Tuesday evening when he collapsed in a hallway. An off-duty firefighter from Attleboro, also in the stands to watch his son, rushed to his side to perform CPR, while a Newton police officer ran down the hall to get a defibrillator, and delivered a single shock.

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When Georges arrived after charging up two flights of stairs, the man was not breathing and had no pulse. But the man’s pulse returned, and he regained consciousness on the way to the hospital.

“He was clinically dead,” Georges said, recalling the dramatic rescue on Wednesday. “But everything was executed like textbook. It’s a beautiful story.”

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Georges, 32, said the man had no pulse for at least 10 minutes, but was able to answer questions by the time he reached the hospital.

The immediate emergency response and the quick use of the defibrillator by first responders saved his life, Georges said.

“You see tragedy every single day,” Georges said. “So to have that outcome is an amazing thing to be part of. I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to be there to help this guy.”

Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.
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