A combination of a dedicated EMT, her detective husband, and an off duty doctor teamed up to save a woman's life when she suffered a heart attack while attending an elementary school concert in Paramus, last December.
During the concert, at Memorial School, Rosemary Kiernan, 75, was standing in the back of the gym, waiting for her 4th grade granddaughter to perform, when she suddenly collapsed, suffering a heart attack.
A person in the audience alerted school principal, Oscar Diaz, that someone had collapsed. He summoned the school nurse. Paramus Detective Rich Menhinick was standing in the gym and ran to the woman's assistance. Menhimck's wife, Linda, a borough EMT, was also in attendance watching her daughter, Kaitlin, performing. She also ran to the elderly woman's side.
Detective Menhinick checked the victim for vital signs and there was no pulse. He radioed in for EMS and ALS units to respond to the school forthwith. Linda Menhinick, who always carries a pocket mask with her, began rescue breathing and her husband started compressions.
Fortunately, the school recently received a life saving defibrillator that was donated by the local Parents Teachers Association. This instrument was retrieved and brought to the gym. Doctor Carol Saieva, also in attendance, hooked up the defibrillator to Kieman and the woman was shocked three times before she regained a faint pulse.
When the borough ambulance arrived, Kiernan went back into cardiac arrest, but she was revived by EMS and ALS crews and then transported to Bergen Regional Hospital.
During the January Paramus Board of Education meeting, the Menhinick's and Dr. Saieva were among those who received awards for their life saving actions. A grateful Rosemary Kiernan was in attendance. She is back home and returning to a normal life.
Since this incident, PTA's at the borough's other seven schools are looking into ways of raising funds to purchase defibrillators for their respective schools.
Ups and Downs
Downs: A fire broke out in the Salvation Army building on Commerce St., Bridgeton; on April 22nd The 3-alarm blaze destroyed the areas that housed a pantry and clothing room. About 600 area needy families come to the building for assistance.
Ups: In Passaic, Ronald Freeman was promoted to fire chief. New deputy chiefs are Mike Martucci and Pat Trentacost. New lieutenants are Chris Freeman, Ranze Ramadan, Kevin Burgos, John Galarza and Kevin Shanahan.
Downs: An overturned tanker truck leaked 2000 gallons of diesel fuel onto Route 46 in Clifton on April 2 1st. A clogged storm drain and quick action by city firefighters kept the spill from fouling the Third River, a Passaic River tributary that winds through the Alonzo Bensal Wildlife Preserve on the Upper Montclair border.
Ups: Plainfield firefighters braved heavy smoke and flames to rescue a woman in a wheelchair and her husband from their burning E. Second St. home on April 20th The fire apparently broke out in a front room of the three-story house and quickly spread to the upper floors. Firefighters found the 70-year-old woman sitting upright in a room at the back of the house and pulled her out the back door. Her 80-year-old husband, who suffered bums to his hands, was also evacuated.
Downs: Three employees of a nail salon at the Freehold Raceway Mall were burned on April 25th when a fire broke out in a back room of the store. A male employee suffered second-and third-degree burns on his legs and was flown by helicopter to St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.
Ups: After almost a decade of requesting a new firehouse, the Greenwich Township's firefighters are now guaranteed to get it. In April, the township committee unanimously approved construction of a $3.4 million firehouse on the 114-acre Hamlen property off Greenwich St.
Downs: In Hackettstown, a 20-year-old Centenary College student was charged with arson in April. Police say Andrew Van Hoy sprayed a flammable liquid on the wall of a dorm room and lit it. Police were patrolling near the campus when they heard an alarm at Anderson Hall. Room 111 was filled with smoke but the fire was out when police arrived.
Ups: In Vineland, Anthony Brooks, Chris Williams and Carlos Mercado, Jr., were recently hired as new firefighters.
Downs: An 8-year-old boy died when fire tore through a Lynne Drive home in Burlington City on May 6th A mother and daughter jumped from a second-floor window to escape the flames. The boy's body was found inside the home by firefighters.
Ups: Joe Iorio has been promoted to fire captain in Nutley.
Downs: In Belmawr, an elderly man on home oxygen sustained burns to the face, May 3rd when he attempted to light a cigarette at his Roberts Ave. home.
Ups: Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Co. 2 in Paramus is celebrating 100 years of service. Company 2 was formed in 1904 as a bucket brigade in response to barn burnings in the Spring Valley Road area of Midland Twp., as Paramus was then known.
Downs: In May, an electrical malfunction that nearly doubled the level of power surging through one floor of the Middlesex County administration building, in New Brunswick, ignited two small fires, forced workers to evacuate and damaged computers and other office equipment
Ups: New firefighters in Carteret are James McFadden and Brendon Rhoades.
Downs: Early on May 16th lightning struck the steeple of a century-old Gothic church, setting it afire and shooting flames high into the sky. The landmark St. John Lutheran Church on Lexington Ave., Passaic, escaped with minimal damage after nine firefighters formed a human chain and climbed 18 stories into the smoke-filled steeple to douse the flames.
Ups: New firefighters in Wildwood are ErnieTroiano III and Daniel Dunn.
Downs: In May, an 80-year-old woman died inside a Henry Dr. house in Northfield. Another woman who was in the home at the time of the fire was in critical condition at Atlantic City Medical Center with severe bums and injuries that she received from jumping from a window.
Ups: New firefighters in North Wildwood are Tern DelVicario and Michael Blizzard.
Downs: On May 12th a major storm crawled across central New Jersey and lightning struck a century old landmark in South Amboy. The Christ Episcopal Church on Main Street operated the building as a thrift shop. The multiple-alarm fire was brought under control in about an hour.
Ups: New firefighters in Springfield are Salvatore Cocuzza, Brian Schmitt, Victor Kostin Jr., Michael Mastroeni and Alejandro Colatruglio.
Downs: On May 12th a severe thunderstorm came through Oakland. Lightning struck a tree and then traveled through the roof of a house, which became engulfed in flames.
Ups: The Watchung Fire Department will be receiving an upgraded communications system now that the borough council introduced an ordinance that allocates funding to purchase a new repeater system.
Downs: A high-rise building in Atlantic City caught fire on May 23rd, forcing dozens of people out of their apartments. Firefighters, police officers, and employees from a restaurant across the street from the burning building helped rescue residents trapped inside.
Ups: In June, Teaneck firefighters began working a 24 hours on/72 hours off work chart.
Downs: A recent fire in a two-story apartment building on West Main St. in Pennsgrove left 21 people homeless. One occupant was severely burned over 60% of her body. Eleven fire departments from Salem and Gloucester Counties battled the blaze for over 4-hours.
Ups: A Community Development Block Grant will help Fair Lawn put an addition on Company 2's firehouse on Route 208. The $95,000 grant is funded by the federal government and administered by the Bergen County freeholders.
Downs: Jersey City Engine 10 was involved in a MVA at Garfield and Communi paw Ave.'s on May 28th
Ups: Firefighter Joshua Fisher, 18, of the Gloucester twp. District 5 (Lambs Terrace) F.D., recently received the distinguished Chiefs Award from his fire company. He is one of the youngest firefighters to ever receive this honor. While in high school, he also attended classes at night and weekends to become a firefighter and EMT. He is an intern for the Camden County Fire Marshal's Office and will attend college for a Bachelor's degree in fire science. His father, brother, and uncle are also firefighters.