By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

WALPOLE (CBS) – The Walpole fireworks display on July 3rd was impressive as usual.

Much more impressive, though, is what went down in the meeting room on the second floor of the Walpole Police Department a few hours earlier.

At the time, the room was packed with about 50 officers ready to get their assignments for the evening.

That’s when veteran Walpole Officer Robert Simmons started having a heart attack.

“There was absolutely no hesitation,” on the part of his co-workers, according to Deputy Chief John Carmichael. “These tables all went out of the way, these guys were all jumping over each other to get to him and help Officer Simmons.”

Within seconds, the officers realized Simmons “had just collapsed, no pulse, no breathing,” said Patrolman Jim Moses. He started CPR immediately.

Officer Al Manganello prepped Simmons for the AED.

“I just ran downstairs because somebody told me there was a defibrillator in the squad room,” explained Patrolman Ian Tolland. “So I just ran down as fast as I could.”

They shocked him once; no response.

They shocked him a second time, “and he sat up like nothing had happened,” says Moses. “It was surreal that day and it’s still surreal now. I’m just glad he’s OK.”

Officer Simmons is doing so well, he’s been back to the police department to visit.

Years ago, it was his idea to install a defibrillator here in the first place.

When he came back earlier this week, he made it a point to remind his colleagues to make sure there were fresh pads on the unit they used to save his life.


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