Asbury Park Press
BRICK – Joe Holler was mowing his lawn before noon on Halloween when he began to feel weak. Worried that he was having a heart attack, Holler took a baby aspirin and called 911.
Holler’s quick thinking and a 6-minute response from Brick EMTs Joseph Sharkey and Brian Schwarz averted what would otherwise have been a tragedy, police said in a news release.
Within minutes of their arrival, and that of Patrolman Daniel Fogarty, Holler’s pain worsened. Before the ambulance pulled away from his home, Holler slipped into unconsciousness and then full cardiac arrest, Brick authorities said.
Brick police called Holler’s quick-hitting heart attack a “widowmaker.”
But last week, the group was happily reunited on the lawn of Holler’s home, where he and his wife thanked the first responders who saved his life, police said.
That Saturday in October, Sharkey, Schwarz and Fogarty rushed Holler into the ambulance.
“Joe (Sharkey) called it, recognized it right away,” Fogarty said in the news release. “We got him (Holler) on a cot real quick and got him out to the truck, and sure enough, as soon as the hook connected to the cot (in the ambulance) he nodded out and we jumped into the truck and began CPR.”
Their efforts worked. Holler was revived with CPR and a defibrillator and later recovered at Ocean Medical Center.
Brick Police Chief James Riccio commended the first responders’ efforts this week.
“These guys did an outstanding job,” he said in a statement. “I’m glad to hear Mr. Holler is doing well. This is why we train and keep our skills at the highest level possible.”
Police say Holler is recovering well at home, working again and remains in good spirits.
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Amanda Oglesby is an Ocean County native who covers Brick, Barnegat and Lacey townships as well as the environment. She has worked for the Press for more than a decade. Reach her at @OglesbyAPP, email@example.com or 732-557-5701.
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