Agawam and Holyoke firefighters honored for saving hockey player’s life

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s situations like these where minutes count: a hockey player during an improvised match at the Olympia goes into cardiac arrest.

Agawam firefighter Bob LaFrance said it was his friend and Holyoke Fire Captain Kevin McDonnell’s friend who fell to the ground on January 13. Bob responded first, starting CPR.

“Me and Kevin yelled at the other guys on the ice to get the DEA and call 911,” Bob told 22News.
“And that’s when Sean walked out with the DEA when he heard it in the lobby.”

Westfield firefighter Sean Major showed up with this AED, or automated external defibrillator. It was these actions that were crucial when West Springfield first responders arrived.

On Wednesday, these off-duty firefighters and first responders were honored in West Springfield with the Hometown Hero Award. However, if you ask the firefighters, they will tell you that they were doing their job.

“I don’t think any of us would call ourselves heroes,” captain McDonnell said. “We just did what we’re supposed to do. That’s what we’re trained to do and just when you’re a firefighter, that’s what you are 24/7, you’re a firefighter.

A collaborative effort that saved a man’s life.

“We could all work together, you know? said Sean Major. “Even though we all come from different cities, different communities and different departments, we can all work as a cohesive unit and achieve the result we are looking for.”

Firefighters told 22News they spoke with their friend on Tuesday and he was recovering well.

Catherine J. Martinez