June 1, 2023

Rehoboth First Responders Honored

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The town’s paramedics, firefighters, and police officers were honored for their work in saving the life of a town resident. The ceremony was held at Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting. Selectmen Chairman Skip Vadnais read a proclamation in honor of Emergency Medical Services Week.

Bernie Beauchemin collapsed while jogging on February 5 and went into cardiac arrest. George Lopes was on his way home from work that day when he found Beauchemin. Lopes called 911 and described the situation to the responding dispatcher. “Thanks to (Lopes) immediate response, (Beauchmein) received immediate, proper and professional care from the responding medical team,” said Bob Schriever from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association.

Schriever presented Lopes with a Certificate of Heroism for helping to save Beauchemin’s life. Schriever is a former college football official and has worked for the NFL's New England Patriots as a member of the sideline crew for 10 years. On September 14, 2002, Bob collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest while officiating a high school football game. He was dead for 2.5 minutes.

The visiting team's head athletic trainer had apologized to Schriever for arriving late to the game because he had stopped to pick up a newly acquired automated external defibrillator (AED) at his school. Schriever was revived with the AED only 15 minutes into the second half of the game.

Automated external defibrillators are portable, life-saving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, a medical condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. The combination of CPR and early defibrillation is effective in saving lives when used in the first few minutes following a collapse from sudden cardiac arrest, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Schriever formed the New England chapter of SCAA with some friends. SCAA has certified 70,000 high school students in lifesaving techniques, Schriever noted.

For more information, visit https://stopcardiacarrest.org.

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