Fire chief, paramedics save man’s life after heart attack at clambake

Aug 22, 2022

A man’s life was saved on Thursday thanks to the quick response of Dartmouth District 2 Fire Chief Greg Edgcomb and other first responders.

The man reportedly collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest at the Allen’s Neck Friends Meeting Clambake.

When bystanders called for assistance, the ambulance housed at the District 2 station was dispatched to the scene. Without knowing the severity of the call, paramedics requested that Edgcomb — a licensed paramedic — and other firefighters come along for assistance.

Edgcomb decided to take his personal cruiser knowing that it would be the fastest way to get there, while EMTs and firefighters prepared the ambulance and fire engine to respond.

When he arrived, Edgcomb said he found a bystander performing CPR on the unconscious man.

After confirming that the man had no pulse, Edgcomb retrieved the defibrillator from his truck, which he used to shock the man twice in order to restart his heart.

“And we got a pulse back,” he said.

When the ambulance arrived about two minutes after Edgcomb, the paramedics took him to the hospital.

Edgcomb said that after arriving at the hospital, the man was breathing on his own and his blood pressure was good.

“That’s a pretty good day,” said Edgcomb.

Edgcomb explained that according to research from the American Heart Association, every minute that a heart attack victim goes without medical attention decreases their chances of survival by about 10%.

“So that two minutes gave that person a 20% better chance,” he said. “So we mean it when we say every second counts.”