First responders are our heroes at work on a daily basis protecting us, keeping us safe and ready to be there to help us when something happens.

A Brick Township resident avoided what could have been a fatal heart attack thanks to responding police officers and EMS, per an announcement from Brick Police Chief James Riccio on Tuesday.

Joe Holler, 63, was cutting the lawn on October 31 around 11:00 am when he started feeling weak and in pain so he went in the house to take a baby aspiring thinking he might be having a heart attack.

His wife called 9-1-1 and Brick Township EMTs Joseph Sharkey and Brian Schwarz were there within six minutes.

Brick Police Officer Daniel Fogarty arrived one minute later.

Joe Holler was sitting in his chair the pain when they arrived and said the pain inside grew increasingly worse to the point where he started losing consciousness.

The first responders then rushed him into the ambulance where he went into full cardiac arrest.

The officers began life-saving measures which included CPR and the utilization of an Automated Electronic Defibrillator.

The chest compressions and two shocks from the AED, helped Holler regain consciousness just as Paramedics were pulling up to the home.

Holler was then transported to Ocean Medical Center for further treatment.

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Flash forward a month and half later to this past Saturday, December 12.

Officer Fogarty and EMT Schwarz reunited with Joe Holler and his wife on the front lawn of their home for a brief, "COVID-19 safe meet and greet" where Holler was able to thank the First Responders who saved his life.

EMT Sharkey was unable to make the reunion.

“Joe [Sharkey] called it, recognized it right away. We got him on a cot real quick and got him out to the truck, and sure enough, as soon as the hook connected to the cot he nodded out and we jumped into the truck and began CPR," Officer Fogarty said.

Mrs. Holler recounted everything that happened October 31 and is thankful for the first responders who saved Joe.

“I got in my car and the ambulance wasn’t moving. [First Responders were working on Mr. Holler inside the ambulance]. I didn’t understand it at the time. He was talking to me when they took him out of the living room," Mrs. Holler said.

Chief Riccio said that prior to the heart attack Joe Holler was routinely camping and hiking regularly, keeping his weight down and getting regular check-ups.

"His cholesterol was perfect and he kept himself in good shape. After the attack, Mr. Holler is recovering well, working from home and healing up nicely. Most importantly, his spirits are high. The kind of heart attack he suffered is morbidly referred to as the Widowmaker."

Holler credits serving the heart attack to the First Responders, his faith and a healthy lifestyle.

"Mrs. Holler said it was God’s grace that kept her from knowing First Responders were doing CPR on her husband in the ambulance parked right in front of her," Chief Riccio said.

Officer Fogarty and EMTs Sharkey and Schwartz have received written commendations for their work.

“These guys did an outstanding job. I’m glad to hear Mr. Holler is doing well. This is why we train and keep our skills at the highest level possible," Chief Riccio said.

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