“Heartsafe” Burlington Saves Heart Attack Victim

The town of Burlington was planning a ceremony to celebrate its designation as a “HEARTsafe Community” by the American Heart Association, when its preparedness paid off on June 5.

 "I had left him for a minute to get tip money and he was dead on the ground," said Deb Greatsinger.

She was with her fiancé, Allen, at their Burlington home when he had collapsed near the end of their driveway.
Tom Gaffney was delivering a cabinet there when it happened.
Neighbor Terry Hoganson heard screaming and ran over to help, as Deb called 911.
"I grabbed the phone and immediately asked dispatcher to walk me through CPR,” said Hoganson. “I had taken his pulse and there was none, so I asked the dispatcher and he started instructing me on exactly what to do."
"I was just breathing and Terry was doing the pumping," Gaffney said.
With Allen still without a pulse, Hoganson and Gaffney continued CPR until a Burlington firefighter arrived with a defibrillator, commonly called an AED.
As the AED shocked Allen’s heart, paramedics arrived and rushed him to Bristol Hospital.
"The three of us started praying, asking God to breathe life back into Allen," Hoganson said.
Their prayers were answered.
Greatsinger’s fiance survived and is recovering back at home, thanks to a true team effort.
"It was crucial, because if any of those components was missing this call could have had a different outcome," said Chief Michael Boucher with the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department.
Boucher’s full-time job is a dispatcher at the Farmington 911 Center, so he was the one on the other end of the phone that day, instructing Hoganson on how to perform CPR.

Chief Boucher says that’s what being a HEARTsafe community is all about -- having the tools and training in place to save lives.
 “All of that put together gives people in this community or visitors a greater chance of survival should they have a cardiac event,” said Chief Boucher.
At a ceremony Tuesday night to celebrate the HEARTSafe designation, Terry Hoganson and Tom Gaffney were recognized for their quick actions on June 5.
"I just want to say it takes a town to save a life and we are very lucky," Greatsinger said as she thanked everyone who saved her fiancé of 10 years, soon to be her husband.

”When he first woke up in the hospital he said, ‘We're getting married. We're getting married right away.’ So it's all good," Greatsinger said.

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