Teamwork Saves Lives In Colonie

Thanks to the quick thinking of a bystander and Colonie Center Security, as well as quick response times by EMS responders, a local woman was given the best chances of survival.
Colonie EMS Paramedics and EMTs worked with first responders as a team to restart a heart. Paramedic Captain Paul Sugrue, Paramedic Raymond Faluszczak, EMTs Dale Hebert & Paramedic Student Sean Carmody.

Colonie EMS Paramedics and EMTs worked with first responders from Fuller Road Fire Department as a team to restart the woman’s heart with the initial AED being placed by Colonie Center Security Assistant Director Joseph Sholtes.

On Tuesday May 19, 2015 at 11:30 AM officials report a 49 year old female had collapsed suddenly at the Colonie Center Mall. 911 was called and Colonie Center Security Assistant Director Joseph Sholtes (also a trained EMT) & Security Officer Vince Malatino responded with an AED, they found an off duty nurse had started CPR as the patient was not breathing.
Colonie Center Security Assistant Director Joseph Sholtes, a trained EMT, and Vince Malatino responded with an AED at Colonie Center Mall.

Colonie Center Security Assistant Director Joseph Sholtes, a trained EMT, and Vince Malatino responded with an AED at Colonie Center Mall.

Within 4 minutes of the woman collapsing, the security officers had applied an AED unit and delivered two shocks to help restart the woman’s heart. While continuing CPR, first responders from Fuller Road Fire Department arrived, along with Town of Colonie EMS Paramedic units minutes later.

After paramedics took over and delivered another shock, her heart began to beat on its own. The patient was stabilized, an ECG was transmitted to the Emergency Room & cardiologists on call were awaiting her arrival at Albany Medical Center.

The nurse’s identity, who had started CPR, is unknown. If anyone has information about who the person is that started CPR, please contact the EMS department office at 518-782-2645 ext 0.

The American Heart Association reports that annually over 360,000 people go into a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). National survival rates are approximately 10%, chances of survival increase three fold if bystander CPR is initiated and an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is applied.

The Colonie EMS department was awarded the 2010 Heart Safe Community award by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, has received awards regionally and state wide for enhancing cardiac arrest survival in the town of Colonie.

Anyone can learn hands-only CPR, it’s easy and it only takes 2 minutes. The more bystanders that are trained, the more likely a person is to survive a cardiac arrest.

To host a free hands-only training session for your community group in Colonie, please contact us here. Large group sessions can take as little as 1 hour to complete.

In New York, AEDs can be purchased by businesses and located for the public to access in case of an emergency such as this one. These can cost less than $1,000 and there is a $500 business tax credit through NYS for each unit purchased. If you have any questions about CPR or getting an AED, please contact our training department 518-782-2645 ext 6 .


The media can contact Colonie EMS Assistant Chief Jack Bevilaqua at 518-782-2645 ext 6 for more information.

Susan Spaccarelli is the Media contact for the mall 518-459-9020

Susan Ford is the Media contact for Albany Medical Center 518.262.3421.

  • Just want to thank you all you saved a wonderful woman’s life! She has three wonderful boys and an awesome daughter!!! She is much loved and appreciated! Thanks so so very much!!!

  • gracie roden says:

    Hi thank you so much I am her daughter she is starting to do better we are so happy she is doing good bless you all

  • Joe falzo says:

    That was my aunt that collapsed and without the people there so quick she would of been dead

  • We’re so happy to hear she is doing better. Please let our department know if there’s anything we can help with. There is also a Sudden Cardiac Arrest survivor support group for patients & family. Wishing you all the best & a healthy recovery.

  • Mary Sestito says:

    Amy finally came off the VENTILATOR today and because of ALL WHO WERE INVOLVED. She has No Residual effects..NO BRAIN DAMAGE!.. She does not recall any of the event or how she came to fainting in the first place ( not unusual as per the Doctor / RN ) We can’t THANK YOU ENOUGH !! YOU ARE ALL ANGELS !!

    Her Sister, Mary

  • ROSE BISHOP says:


  • Ronald G Brundige says:

    God Bless each and everyone of you .Amy is my baby sister and has a Heart of Gold . In a world were hate and death are now the norm . It’s so beautiful to see that there still Angels in this World ….Semper Fi

  • Ashley Davis says:

    All of us from her Kohl’s family are so happy to hear she’s doing better! We’re all praying for a speedy healthy recovery!

  • Patrick Knapek says:

    Happy to here Amy is on the road to recovery.
    Patrick Knapek
    Fuller Road Fire Dept.

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    Teamwork Saves Lives In Colonie – COLONIE EMS

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