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Published: August 25, 2008 04:45 pm ShareThisPrintThis
Rescuers honored in Salisbury for saving man's life
By Sabrina Cardin
Staff writer

Standing behind Salisbury Reservation Headquarters, the group looked more like old friends than strangers brought together four weeks ago by fate.
Salisbury Reservation Superintendent Mike Maginifico, two lifeguards and two state troopers were honored Monday for jointly saving the life of Paul Parquette.
All involved spoke about training and how important every lesson was during those brief but vital moments after Parquette collapsed into the shallow water on Salisbury Reservation.
Parquette was walking along the Salisbury Reservation shoreline with his wife, Maureen, on the morning of Aug. 1 when he suddenly fell into the shallow surf. Maureen figured that he had heat stroke, but when he regained consciousness only to fall down again, she knew something was seriously wrong.
Seeing him fall, 16-year-old Brianna Davis rushed over and immediately called her supervisors for help. State Troopers Katherine Walsh and Anthony Alestock were only 50 yards away and reached Parquette only moments after Davis began checking his vitals. As Alestock watched his vitals begin to fade, lifeguard Fletcher Wasson and park superintendent Mike Magnifico arrived with a defibrillator. Three shocks later, Parquette had a pulse and was breathing but still struggling for his life.
In the end, the efforts of the five helped keep Parquette alive until the ambulance arrived. This morning, teary eyed Maureen and Paul thanked the young lifeguards, Magnifico and state troopers for saving his life.
"Without you I would not be here," Parquette said.

Published: August 25, 2008 11:11 pm ShareThisPrintThis
Heart attack victim reunites with saviors
By Sabrina Cardin
Staff writer

SALISBURY - Thatcher Wasson was beginning a regular workday as a Salisbury Beach State Reservation lifeguard when he received an urgent call.
A man was down on the jetty suffering from what appeared to be a heart attack.
Already administering first aid were two state troopers and 16-year-old lifeguard Brianna Davis. The three were closely monitoring Paul Parquette's vitals, which were quickly deteriorating.
Arriving on the scene, Wasson quickly went to work setting up a portable defibrillator. Park supervisor Mike Magnifico said the defibrillator, which was purchased two years ago, was what saved Parquette's life.
Wasson, 21, of Newburyport, said he had used a defibrillator four times before with unsuccessful results. Yet, he remembers not letting past experiences slow the rescue efforts down.
"You revert to your training, and this time we were really lucky," Wasson said.
Standing behind Salisbury Beach State Reservation headquarters yesterday, the group of rescuers and their patient, reunited for the first time, looked more like old friends than strangers brought together four weeks ago by fate.
Upon first seeing Parquette, Wasson said he looked great.
"You looked a little blue last time I saw you," Wasson said with a smile
While thanking the group for their quick action, Parquette also gave a special thanks to Wasson for saving his Ray-Ban sunglasses.
"I was thinking you would want those when you were better," Wasson said.
Parquette was walking along the water's edge with his wife, Maureen, on Aug. 1 when he suddenly fell. She figured it was heat stroke, but when he collapsed a second time, she knew it was much more serious. Thanks to the group's quick lifesaving techniques, Parquette, who was suffering from a massive heart attack, survived and was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
Even with three years of experience on the reservation and working as an EMT in Virginia, where he attends college, Wasson said this was one of the worst medical emergencies he has seen on the reservation.
"We have already had over 60 water saves this season, but nothing but training can prepare you for something like this," Wasson said.
State Trooper Anthony Alestock said it was all about training and being in the right place at the right time. Alestock and fellow Yrooper Katherine Walsh patrol all of Salisbury Beach, Salisbury Beach Reservation and Salisbury Center, but by chance were only 50 yards away when Parquette fell.
Similar to Wasson, Alestock said in his almost 13 years as a state trooper, this was his first time seeing a defibrillator successfully save a life.
"It's heartwarming to see him," Alestock said. "It was such a team effort to save his life."
Making the 45-minute trip from Westford a few times a year, the Parquettes believe they were at the beach that day for a reason.
"This is the only beach we ever come to, and now I believe it was for a reason," Maureen Parquette said.
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