By Julia Bayly
Special to the NEWS

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine&nbsp- A member of a Shriners marching unit participating in the annual Dover-Foxcroft Homecoming Parade on Saturday has the community’s emergency response personnel to thank for his life.

Brian Mullis, EMS director of Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft said the Shriner, whose name could not be released because of privacy issues, was successfully resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest along the parade route.

“The Shriners’ flag unit was actually in front of one of our machines,” Mullis said Sunday afternoon. “While they were marching, an older gentleman in the unit collapsed and went into immediate cardiac arrest.”

While members of the regional EMT unit initiated immediate CPR measures, two nurses who were in the crowd of spectators stepped forward to assist.

“I was in the crowd watching the parade with my family when I heard the call,” Mullis said. “I ran over to help.”

Emergency personnel used a portable defibrillator on the scene and the victim’ s heartbeat resumed, Mullis said.

He was immediately transported to Mayo Regional Hospital and later transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center where Mullis said doctors reported they expect him to make a full recovery.

“So it looks like this guy who basically dropped dead in the parade will recover,” Mullis said. “Thanks to some great CPR and response.”

Last year Dover was named an American Heart Association Heart Safe Community based on the level of CRP training offered in the community, the presence of at least one automated external defibrillator and the level of advanced life support training taken by and available from emergency response personnel.

“This was a collaborative effort by the community to get this designation,” Mullis said. “This incident really showed the incredible teamwork between the different people with the paramedics, the fire department and ambulance crews working really well together plus good 911 dispatching.”

While the bulk of the emergency response attention was on the fallen Shriner, another crew was responding to an accident elsewhere in the parade.

A small child fell off one of the floats, Mullis said, and suffered minor injuries and lacerations.

“We’ ve been doing this parade for 12 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened,” he said. “We were able to take care of both calls at the same time and still have two crews available to cover the area.”