NORTH READING — An off-duty North Reading firefighter and two North Reading police officers rendered life-saving aid to a jogger last month.

According to Police Chief Mark Zimmerman and Fire Chief Don Stats, the incident occurred on Sunday, March 17 when off-duty North Reading firefighter Vincent Zarella, who was on his way home, heard a call on his portable radio of a person who was unresponsive and being assisted by a passerby. 

Zarella was in the area at the time and immediately responded to the scene where he observed the reporting party rendering aid to the individual. 

Zarella immediately took over and performed CPR compressions until North Reading police officers Scott Tilton and Mike LeBlanc arrived on scene with an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). Both men continued compressions before using the AED device, while also placing an airway into the individual.

Engine 3, consisting of Captain Mike Tannian and firefighter Chris Hadley, arrived on scene a short time later and also offered assistance until the Reading ambulance arrived and transported the individual to an area hospital. Firefighter Hadley assisted in the transportation of the individual. 

Due to the quick actions of North Reading firefighters and police officers, the individual was conscious by the time the Reading ambulance arrived.

“I would like to recognize the actions of firefighter Zarella and officers Tilton and LeBlanc, who jumped into action to assist a community member,” said Chief Stats. “The quick response from our public safety members is a great example of our commitment to service for the residents and community members of North Reading.”

“This is a great example of how our department members work together and I am thankful for the strong partnership between police and fire,” said Chief Zimmerman. “Officers LeBlanc, Tilton, and firefighter Zarella, along with our other public safety members, used their training and skills to administer life-saving aid to an individual in need of assistance. I applaud their professionalism and quick thinking.”

The individual has since been released from the hospital and is doing well.