Warwick first responder saved after medical emergency while helping fight fire
A Warwick first responder is recovering after having a medical emergency while helping fight a fire.
Andrew Schork, 64, thanked a group of first responders for giving him the gift of life this holiday season at an emotional reunion that took place at a Warwick firehouse on Wednesday night.
Schork, a safety officer said he and a group of firefighters from Warwick and other mutual aid companies, like Goshen's and Pine Island's fire departments, were responding to a two-alarm fire on Dec. 16 when he experienced a medical emergency and collapsed.
"I started feeling a little dizzy... the next thing I knew [there] were half a dozen guys staring down at me," Schork said.
Responders, like Daniel Graham of the Goshen Fire Department, immediately started performing CPR and using an AED to try to save him .
"We could see on the screen that he was in v-fib and with a minute or two of him hitting the ground, we defibrated him, and with a minute of that, he opened his eyes and was talking to us," Graham said.
Warwick EMS transported Schork to Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown where he underwent a procedure.
He was released just in time for the holidays. It was something Schork considered nothing short of a Christmas miracle.
He got emotional as he thanked the responders at the reunion.
“If they weren’t there and started the CPR, and somebody didn’t grab the AED off the engine that was in the driveway, I wouldn’t be here," Schork said.
Michael Contaxis, the chief of the Warwick Fire Department, added that he wants to find a way to honor these responders who helped save Schork's life.
"Probably the Orange County Volunteer Firefighters Association down the road this year, I'm hoping to give a unit citation to be acknowledged for Firefighter of the Year, or something, for these life-saving efforts," Contaxis said.