Thanks, Groton FD, from the bottom of my heart and top of my head

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I must thank the town of Groton Fire Department and its team of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) for their care and professionalism when I was injured on Election Day, Nov. 6. They saved my life.

I did a very stupid thing that afternoon. I tried carrying two heavy things down the stairs to our basement. I got about half-way down and lost my balance. I fell headfirst down the stairs and smashed my head directly into a wooden bookcase. While I remained conscious, I was bleeding profusely. I managed to get myself into the bathroom. No one was home and my cellphone was upstairs.

Fortunately, my wife Carole arrived home about two minutes later and heard me crying for help. She applied towels to help stop the bleeding from a 5-inch gash in my forehead and called 911. Very soon, the town of Groton EMTs arrived and assessed the situation. While one was applying pressure to slow down the bleeding, they called for back-up. They wrapped my head in a trauma bandage and continued to apply pressure. They worked together to apply a neck brace, strapped me into a chair and carried me to the waiting ambulance.

As we took off for the hospital, one EMT continued to apply pressure to my head while the other was hooking me up to an IV and checking my vitals. Amazingly, in the midst of all this, they found a way to calm me down and even get me laughing. They must have called ahead because there was a team waiting for me at the trauma center at Lowell General.

By that time, I lost a lot of blood and I heard the doctor say, “We need to stop the bleeding quickly or he might bleed out.” That is something I will never forget hearing for the rest of my life. They applied what they described as battlefield protocol which involved stapling the skin back together while giving me morphine and injecting a clotting agent. After multiple x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds and an MRI that night, they released me the next morning. I look a bit like a Frankenstein mask right now but I’ll be OK.

The care I received that night at Lowell General Hospital was amazing. But I might not have been able to benefit from the skill of those trauma nurses and doctors if not for the speed and capabilities of our own Groton fire and EMTs. Chief Steele McCurdy has assembled an amazing group of EMTs. I will never be able to thank them enough for what they did for me.

I stated publicly at the fall Town Meeting that the Fire Department is the most important department in Groton but I never thought that it would be my own life that would be saved. They serve to protect your life and property and don’t get the credit that they deserve. They deserve our full support.

Art Prest

Groton