First responders, good Samaritan commended for resuscitation

Sgt. Max Sherman, foreground, secures the belongings of a woman revived from a near drowning, as first responders apply first aid. Sgt. Sherman was one of the first people to come to the woman's aid.

Tisbury EMS recently lauded first aid given by first responders and a good Samaritan who saved a drowning victim in Vineyard Haven. On the afternoon of Nov. 28, Tisbury Police and Tisbury EMS converged on a Lagoon Pond mudflat where a good Samaritan later identified as Steve Sheldon was performing CPR on a woman. Tisbury Police Sgt. Max Sherman and Tisbury paramedic Ben Davey took over first aid, and later Tisbury Police Officer Pierce Harrer applied first aid too. Eventually a LUCAS machine, which generates artificial compressions, was employed. A Times reporter on the scene overheard one EMT announce there was a pulse as the woman was brought aboard an ambulance. Police reports indicate the woman was first found “completely unresponsive.”

For reasons of medical privacy, the name of the person in distress hasn’t been disclosed. 

In addition to Sherman, Harrer, and Sheldon, Tisbury EMT Jason Davey, Oak Bluffs EMS personnel Amanda Gonsalves, Matt Bradley, Luke Cote, and Tad Medeiros also participated in the response, and were recognized along with hospital staff and Dukes County Sheriff’s Regional Emergency Communication Center staffers, Deputy Aaron Figueroa and Sgt. Julia Bossio. 

“The resident who called 911, Melissa Partridge, was also recognized,” Dukes County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Heather Arpin emailed. “Thank you to all of those who came together to save a life that day, and to the professionals and civilians we work in collaboration with every day to safeguard our community. We are stronger together.” 

The woman made a full recovery, according to Arpin. 

“We are very appreciative, and proud, of everyone’s actions that day, and are happy a life was saved,” Tisbury Police Chief Mark Saloio emailed. “With everything considered, including that two civilians provided significant assistance with this, we thought it was appropriate to recognize the collective good that came from this potentially tragic set of circumstances. It was a team effort in every sense.” 

Letters of commendation were presented, according to Arpin. 

Tisbury Ambulance coordinator Tracey Jones said pins were also given for “outstanding services.” The pins read, “I made CPR count.”