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Police, Fire, EMS Successfully Resuscitate 53-Year-Old Resident

April 4th, 2022 4:21 pm

A medical call turned into a successful CPR life save after Cranford Police, Fire and Fire EMS responded to an Orchard Street home this past Friday. 

At approximately 0847 hours on April 1st, 2022, Officers Daniel Donnerstag and Joshua Sousa were dispatched to an Orchard Street address on the report of a 53-year-old male experiencing chest pains.  Upon arrival, Officer Donnerstag, a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and American Heart Association CPR Instructor, recognized that the patient was taking agonal gasps.  Officers Donnerstag and Sousa immediately began to rescue breathe for the victim using a bag-valve mask.  At this time, Officer Nelson Hearns Jr. arrived on scene and assisted in the effort.  During this rescue effort, the patient lost consciousness and lost his pulse.  It is at this point that the Cranford Police units were joined by Cranford Fire Department Emergency Medical Technicians Kornberger and Literate as well as Fire Inspector Petchow, Firefighter Polito and Firefighter Kniazuk. 

Officer Hearns utilized his Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to determine if the patient had a “shockable rhythm”.  The AED indicated that a “shock was advised” and subsequently one shock was administered by Officer Hearns.  Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) was immediately started by the team of police officers, firefighters and EMTs.  After the team performed multiple cycles of CPR, the victim suddenly gasped for air and became conscious.  Paramedics from Robert Wood Johnson at Rahway Hospital arrived on scene and continued treatment of the patient.  At this point, the patient was fully alert and holding a conversation with medical personnel.  He was transported by Cranford Fire Department’s EMS to Newark Beth-Israel Hospital.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 475,000 Americans die each year from cardiac arrest – with many of those medical events occurring outside of the hospital environment.  CPR in conjunction with the successful deployment of an AED can double or triple a patient’s survival rate in these settings.

Chief Greco praised the efforts of all first responders involved in this rescue effort.  “First responders using their training and experience and acting as a team led to the successful saving of a Cranford resident’s life,” Chief Greco said.


Photo left to right:  Officers Hearns, Sousa and Donnerstag, CPD; EMTs Kornberger and Literate, CFD/EMS; F/F Kniazuk, F/F Polito and F/I Petchow, CFD/Engine 2.

Release Provided by D/Lt. Matthew R. Nazzaro

Cranford Police Department – PIO

m-nazzaro@cranfordnj.org / 908-709-4313