DA Early Honors Shrewsbury First Responders for Reviving Man in Cardiac Arrest

May 22, 2024

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lindsay Corcoran (508) 368-7252 or (774) 670-8811

SHREWSBURY – A group of Shrewsbury first responders were recognized by Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. today for reviving a man whose heart had stopped beating due to cardiac arrest last July.

The District Attorney’s Team Excellence and Merit – TEAM Award – was presented to Shrewsbury Police Officers, Firefighters, Dispatchers, and UMass EMS who all worked together to revive Shrewsbury resident Andy MacIsaac when he collapsed at his home on July 2, 2023.

“There is no doubt that without the efforts of these first responders, the outcome would have been tragically different,” said Mr. Early. “But due to the quick actions and teamwork of those being awarded today, Mr. MacIsaac’s heart started beating again and he was able to return to his life. This is the outcome first responders, who do this work every day, always want to see, but don’t always get to experience. It should be celebrated.”

On July 2, a Sunday morning, MacIsaac was just returning home from a walk with his four dogs when he collapsed. His wife, Tricia, quickly called 911 while her brother who was visiting began chest compressions.

Worcester EMS Dispatcher John Cappe helped Ralph and Tricia by guiding them through chest compressions until help arrived. Officer Christopher Viera took over chest compressions while Officer Jeffrey Svendsen began giving rescue breaths.

The officers continued CPR until the arrival of firefighters and paramedics. In total, the team of first responders worked for about 30 minutes to get MacIsaac’s heart beating again.

Paramedics from Worcester EMS transported MacIsaac via ambulance to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

He had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest caused by blockages in his heart. Doctors at UMass were able to repair it with a surgery and MacIsaac was discharged from the hospital less than a week later.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to each member of the responding team,” MacIsaac said. “Their courage, quick thinking, and dedication to duty were instrumental in giving me a second chance at life. In the face of such a critical emergency, their professionalism shone through, providing not only medical assistance but also the reassurance and comfort to my wife (and dogs) that can only come from individuals committed to serving and protecting their community.”

“These types of calls are in some ways typical of what our first responders see everyday, but they are so important to the ways in which ensure the safety of all our residents. I commend all of our officers who responded to this call and all of the first responders who worked together to save Mr. Mac Isaac’s life. This was truly a team effort,” said Shrewsbury Police Department Chief Kevin Anderson.

The TEAM Award was presented to the following first responders on Wednesday:

Shrewsbury Police Department:

  • Adam Cameron
  • Officer Waleed Belgou
  • Officer Ahmed Kafel
  • Officer Jeffrey Svendsen
  • Officer Christopher Vieira
  • Dispatcher Noah Coates
  • Dispatcher Kurt White

Shrewsbury Fire Department:

  • Firefighter Michael Bowles
  • Firefighter Christopher White

Worcester EMS:

  • Dispatcher John Cappe
  • Paramedic Paige Murray
  • Paramedic James Smith

The TEAM Award was created by Mr. Early in 2019 to recognize public safety employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. Contact the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office at (508) 755-8601 to nominate someone for this award.

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