It began as a routine traffic stop in Kennebunk, Maine.
Gavin “Scotty” Falconer, 84, was behind the wheel of his car, now stopped on a roadside for speeding. Officer Matthew Harrington had just spoken to him and was in his cruiser where he “got his information like we always do,” he told WMTW-TV in Poland Spring.
Then the run-of-the-mill Saturday evening traffic stop became a matter of life and death.
“I went back to the car,” Harrington told the station. “I was writing out a warning card and heard screaming.” Falconer was having a heart attack.
Police dashcam video captured the moments after Falconer’s wife cried for help: Harrington pulled him from his car, laid him on his back on the street just outside the driver’s side door, and started CPR.
Another officer got a defribrillator, WMTW noted.
The clip also shows Falconer’s chest pop up as the machine does its trick on his heart.
“We felt for a pulse after the first shock,” Harrington told WMTW. “He did have one.”
Even more fortunate for Falconer is that while each Kennebunk cop is trained in CPR and defribrillator use, only two on the force are licensed emergency medical technicians — and Harrington is one of them.
“I’ve been lucky all my life,” Falconer later said from his hospital bed. “I’ve been the luckiest guy that ever walked on two feet and I’ve been in some bad scrapes but I always was lucky.”
Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie had high praise for Harrington.
“As stressful as it was, he was still comfortable with what he was doing,” the chief told WMTW, adding that Harrington’s cool was manifested by the way he used foam from the defribrillator to protect Falconer’s head and instructed another officer to check on Falconer’s wife.
“It’s picture perfect,” MacKenzie told the station. “It really is.”