Potsdam first responders honored for life-saving actions
Richard Peters, in front, thanks Potsdam Police Chief Mark Murray, Officer Matthew Seymour, Sgt. John Benson, and Potsdam Volunteer Rescue Squad members Jody Agee, Scott Grant, and to the right of Peters, Jacob Bellucci, Dan Jaremczek, Sean Murphy, and squad Chief Tim Rivers.
BY CRAIG FREILICH
North Country This Week
POTSDAM -- Members of the Potsdam Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Potsdam Police Department were honored Thursday at a Civic Center ceremony for their efforts in two medical “saves” in recent months.
• On the afternoon of May 15, the Rescue Squad was dispatched to the Save A Lot store at 200 Market St. for a report of a man down on the floor of the meat cooler. Richard Peters Sr., 66, working in the locker, had collapsed and co-workers called for help. Rescue Squad members EMT Jody Agee, EMT Driver Sean Murphy, and EMT student Jacob Bellucci, first on the scene, found Peters “unconscious and unresponsive” and without a pulse. They began CPR. Agee performed defibrillation. They asked for more help and Advanced EMTs Dan Jaremzuk and Jon Mitchell, Driver Scott Grant and Potsdam Police Department Sgt. John Benson and Officer Matt Seymour quickly arrived. The team continued CPR until they arrived at Canton-Potsdam Hospital where emergency room personnel took over and prepared him for airlift to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. On June 17, Advanced EMT Jill Bellucci and EMT Jacob Bellucci traveled to Syracuse to bring Peters back to Potsdam.Peters, with his son, was at the ceremony to say, “You wouldn’t believe how grateful I am.”
• On Friday, Aug. 2, Paul Cole, 55, a veterinarian with the US Department of Agriculture, was at his Pleasant Street home when at about 11 a.m. he collapsed. Rescue Squad Chief Tim Rivers, EMT Agee, and student EMT Bellucci responded and began work. “He coded four times,” Rivers said, and they revived him each time. Cole said he did not comprehend what was happening at the time. He said he could see at one moment and then he was out again. Cole was taken from C-PH to Plattsburgh, was treated, and released the following Monday.
“Although it is not uncommon for Emergency Personnel to save a life during a day’s work, we believe that it does not need to go unnoticed,” said Squad Chief Rivers in his commendation. “Thank you for your hard work and dedication to this community and for representing this organization with professionalism and unmatched service excellence. I could not be prouder.”