LONDONDERRY — The swift actions of an area business owner helped save a cable worker’s life after he suffered a heart attack Tuesday afternoon, according to a fire official.
Patrick Iarrobino, co-owner of 603 Performance and Maintenance on Mammoth Road, was picking up some things at the shop between plowing a couple of neighborhood driveways when he noticed a Consolidated Communications box truck trapped in a ditch at the end of the road.
Iarrobino stopped to help the driver, who was shoveling out of the ditch. He said the cable worker appeared to be in his mid- to late-50s, and was visibly fatigued.
“We were just having a normal conversation; we were talking about how the weather sucks,” Iarrobino said.
“He stopped responding in our conversation. I turned around and he had fallen down.”
Iarrobino said he struggled to find a pulse, and the man was only intermittently gasping for air.
He called 911, and was instructed to do chest compressions until the fire department showed up. Because the man collapsed between a snowbank and Iarrobino’s truck, Iarrobino had to drag the man out before he could lay him on his back.
A few minutes later, three fire engines, an ambulance and a couple of police cruisers arrived.
Iarrobino said he continued chest compressions until fire crews were there and ready to take over.
“They had to defib him a couple times,” Iarrobino said.
But after a paramedics worked on him, the worker seemed to start breathing again.
Elliot Hospital spokesman Anne-Marie Hafeman said the patient is in stable condition in ICU.
Londonderry Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Zins said if it wasn’t for Iarrobino being with the man when it happened, the worker would have likely died.
“If he was just there by himself, nobody would have seen him go down. Nobody would have called 911,” Zins said.
“I was in the right place at the right time, and I just did what I would hope someone would do for me,” Iarrobino said.
“People just need to help each other out.”
While he was giving chest compressions, Iarrobino’s mind turned to September 2016, when he said he stopped for a badly injured motorcyclist who crashed in the Commercial Street area near Cotton in Manchester.
That motorcyclist died after making it to the hospital.
“That was what was kinda going through my head,” Iarrobino said. “I didn’t want the same situation to happen again.”
On Wednesday, the worker’s supervisor at Consolidated stopped by Iarrobino’s shop to thank him for his life-saving intervention.