Co-workers in Lockport Township honored for helping colleague
By Brian Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org May 15, 2013 2:02PM
Lockport Steel Fabricators employees watch Wednesday morning as Lockport Township Fire Chief Dave Skoryi (standing on ambulance) presented awards. | Brian Stanley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 18, 2013 7:24AM
LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP — Larry Jachimiec was feeling absolutely fine until he got up to go to lunch.
“My head went back and I fell in my chair. There was no warning at all,” he remembered about the afternoon of March 19 while he was working at Lockport Steel Fabricators.
For someone having a heart attack who had stopped breathing, Jachimiec was working with the right people.
Employees John Piha and Donna Sitts called 911 and talked with emergency dispatchers while Dave Fiore, Don Fountain, Mary Jachimiec, James Neff and George Richner gave CPR and used a defibrillator to resuscitate him before the ambulance arrived.
“These employees were ‘textbook’ in what to do. Everything went perfectly and that is so rare,” Fire Chief Dave Skoryi said. On Wednesday morning, Skoryi and several firefighters presented them with certificates of appreciation in front of dozens of their co-workers.
“It was convenient timing because Dave and I had just taken our refresher course (on CPR) the month before,” Neff said. Neff described his mental state on walking in the room like a robot “moving down a checklist” as he started CPR.
Lt. Robert Vargo and firefighters John Baskerville, Brian Dobczyk and James Kozek were on their way when Jachimiec’s “seizure” was called in, but were messaged about the defibrillator and resuscitation while en route.
Vargo was surprised to come in and find “a huge guy (Neff) holding a chair over his head.”
“I thought he was going to throw it, but he was just clearing the area,” Vargo said, adding it was also uncommon to see the patient they’d been called for talking and responsive.
Jachimiec was taken to Silver Cross Hospital and returned to work on restricted duty last month.
“I’m not a speaker, but I will thank everybody here. I’m very lucky,” he said after his co-workers got their plaques.