Stories of Survival: Mr. Allen of Averill Park

Paramedic Robbie MacCue (left), Mr. Allen is a local cardiac arrest survivor. Mrs. Allen by his side (right).

On a sunny August day Mr. James Allen, of Averill Park, started to experience chest pains and severe difficulty breathing. 911 was called and Sand Lake Ambulance arrived, within minutes, Mr. Allen was sitting on the couch in serious distress. The Sand Lake crew obtained Mr. Allen’s vital signs, and performed a hospital-grade ECG right in Mr. Allen‘s living room.  The ECG showed blockages in Mr. Allen‘s coronary arteries – a situation known as a myocardial infarction, or more commonly, a heart attack. Medications were immediately administered, and the Averill Park Fire Department and NYS Police promptly assisted the ambulance crew in moving Mr. Allen out of the house.

While Mr. Allen was being moved to the ambulance, the paramedic  electronically transmitted Mr. Allen’s ECG to Albany Medical Center’s Emergency Department, gathered further information from his wife and then contacted the hospital’s physician directly to discuss the case and confirm that he was having a heart attack. The physician contacted the hospital’s cardiac catheterization team, and they prepared for his arrival.

As the ambulance headed for the hospital an IV was started for additional medications but Mr. Allen went into cardiac arrest – his heart stopped beating! The paramedic immediately used a defibrillator to “shock” Mr. Allen back to life, and his heart resumed beating.  The hospital physicians were updated about Mr. Allen’s condition, and he was given additional medications to stabilize his heart. Upon arrival, Mr. Allen was whisked to the cardiac catheterization lab, where the blockage was successfully cleared.

Mrs. Allen reported that when she arrived the ED attending physician told her that “if it had been a different ambulance her husband may not be alive today”


Sand Lake Ambulance is widely recognized to provide top-notch Basic and Advanced emergency care to our community. We’re volunteering neighbors helping neighbors, supported by a paid staff of paramedics and EMTs to provide the fastest and best emergency medical care possible, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days

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