Nearly a year after the most recent resuscitation, a local firefighter and Town of Colonie 911 dispatcher was honored for his involvement in saving three people suffering from cardiac arrest.
At the Colonie Town Board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 4, volunteer firefighter Patrick O’Connor was given an award for helping save the lives of three people in the town. Also at the meeting, a new member was appointed to the planning board after Tina Segal announced her retirement.
The three different life-saving occasions O’Connor was involved in took place between 2011 and 2013. O’Connor joined the volunteer fire department in 1982 and has worked at many of the fire departments in the town of Colonie. He is currently the assistant chief at Shaker Road Loudonville Fire Department.
“In March of 1982, Pat joined the Shaker Road Loudonville Fire Department. He has also been a member of Stanford Heights, Latham, Midway, It’s a little inside joke here,” said Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan.
O’Connor has been a staple in the community for many years and also volunteers with the Patriot Flight for WWII veterans, Boy Scouts, the USS Slater, is charter president for the Leather Neck Society and is current president of the Red Knights.
“For those of you that don’t know Pat, Pat also has another job added to his list. He is the resident comedian. So today is his time to get recognized for all the things that he does, but he really adds a lot to the events that we have in town in a very fun way,” said Mahan, adding that, “today is about all the serious things.”
As O’Connor accepted his award, he took time to thank his fellow firefighters, Colonie EMS, Colonie police and other first responders for assisting him.
“EMS, police and fire, we all work together. I don’t do any of this stuff by myself. I want to make sure that everyone gets the proper credit. If it isn’t for the police department that shows up first with the AEDs, the Colonie medical service that show with their AOS, a lot of these people wouldn’t make it. You’re only hearing about two or three people. In the Town of Colonie, we have many, many people that survive cardiac arrest,” said O’Connor.
One of the incidents he assisted at took place at an LA Boxing fitness center where a woman suffered cardiac arrest, another incident was a cardiac arrest at Planet Fitness and the last one was a 70-year-old woman that suffered cardiac arrest in Cooks Park.
“I think the lady at LA Boxing was probably the closest one I ever saw, where it was just me and another guy working on her for a while before anyone else showed up. We started working on her and hooking up the AED and giving her shock. I never really did that on my own before. That was where I really did the most to get someone back,” said O’Connor.
O’Conner went on to stress the importance of firefighters staying in shape and remaining active because cardiac arrest is one of the biggest killers of firefighters. Exercising regularly can be difficult for volunteers, because they have many other obligations with their full-time jobs and families. The Loudonville Shaker Road fire department offers exercise classes to keep the firefighters healthy.
New planning board member
The town board approved the appointment of Craig Shamlian to replace Tina Segal, who attended her final planning board meeting Tuesday, Aug. 26, and announced her retirement. Shalian is on the town’s Significant Environmental Areas Management Appeals Board and was recommended for the position by Mahan and Segal.