Local firefighters jump into action, perform life-saving actions at hockey rink | News


WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)- Local firefighters are being hailed as heroes after performing life-saving actions at a hockey rink last night. Western Mass News caught up with them to speak about how they stepped up when they least expected it.

“Without that fast action, without the fast CPR, without the fast application of the AED, I think we’d definitely be looking at a worse outcome,” said Sean Major, firefighter and paramedic for the Westfield Fire Department.

Sean Major, a firefighter & paramedic for the Westfield Fire Department and assistant hockey coach for Chicopee Comp. told Western Mass News instinct kicked in on Thursday night at the Olympia ice rink in West Springfield when he received word of a player down, with no pulse, after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest in an adjacent rink.

“I think it’s one of those times where your body just goes into work mode, there aren’t really too many emotions running through you,” said Major.

Kevin McDonnell, a captain for the Holyoke Fire Department, was in the locker room when he heard about his men’s league teammate of 12 years.

“When it’s one of your friends, it’s a little different it’s a little more stressful,” said Kevin McDonnell, a Holyoke Fire Department Captain.

The firefighters say they see these situations regularly and jumped into action along with Bob LaFrance of the Agawam Fire Department.

“Nob said start CPR, I started CPR that’s when I saw Shawn coming to the rink with a defrib in his hand,” said McDonnell.

The West Springfield Fire Department arrived a short time later to perform further medical action. And for Major, the situation hits close to home after a tragedy in 2001.

“My 19-year-old brother passed away suddenly from sudden cardiac arrest, it was found out later there was an undiagnosed heart condition,” said Major.

Started in his brother’s name, “Kev’s Foundation” provides automatic external defibrillator to venues with large gatherings.

“We bring awareness, we bring education about sudden cardiac arrest signs and symptoms and how to treat if a cardiac arrest episode does happen,” said Major.

Including the one used on the man at Olympia Thursday Night.

“That donated defrib made all the difference in the world last night,” said McDonnell.

The first responders from Westfield, Holyoke, and Agawam credit the firefighter brotherhood for helping them step into action.

“Everyone goes through the same training, we all become very close for moments like this,” said Major.

McDonnell said e heard from the man, who is doing well.

Information on Kev’s Foundation could be found here.

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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