HINSDALE, N.H. >> Emergency responders were recognized Monday night for what Police Chief Todd Faulkner says can be a "thankless job."
During a meeting of the Board of Selectmen, Faulkner hosted a reception, during which 15 different responders were awarded for their dedicated service. Two particular circumstances were mentioned for life saving efforts responders made, both in March.
On March 28, Kelli Morton, 46, of Hinsdale, was driving her 2003 Nissan Murano when her heart stopped and her vehicle struck a tree in the area of Thicket Hill Mobile Home Park on Thicket Hill Drive, according to police. Emergency responders performed life saving operations on Morton before being transported to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and then Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where she was put on a ventilator.
"I'd just like to say thank you; if it weren't for all of you, I wouldn't be here, my daughter wouldn't have a mother and I can't thank you enough," said Morton at the award ceremony Monday night.
When the police department arrived at the scene, Lieutenant David Eldridge, with the help of bystanders, was able to help Morton out of her car, which was on a steep embankment. They performed medical procedures such as CPR, before the Hinsdale Fire Department and Rescue Inc arrived. After a lot of "good work," according to Faulkner, Morton survived.
According to, Tami Wetherby, 57, who is Morton's aunt, Morton is now waiting for a kidney transplant due to the various medicines she took that damaged her kidney.
The emergency service responders that were recognized received a life saving certificate and a white and red pin that indicates life saving action took place, which may be worn on their uniforms.
"The doctors at Dartmouth told us it was a miracle, that she should not be here, and it was because all of you (that she survived)," Wetherby said. Wetherby mentioned that their family has recently had two family deaths and they could not fathom what they would do if Morton had died as well.
"So all of you have no idea what you gave us. Thank you so, so much," said Wetherby holding back tears.
The following individuals were honored Monday night for the March 28 incident: Lt. David Eldridge of Hinsdale Police; Hinsdale Fire Chief Jay Matuszewski; Lt. Jason Antos, Ben Aither and Patricia Lachenal of the Hinsdale Fire Department; and Isaac Smith, Lt. Nick Bergeron and Christine Hume of Rescue Inc.
The other live saving act occurred on March 18 when 911 was called for a medical emergency on Plain Road. Two police officers arrived first and witnessed a cardiac arrest. Shortly after, the Hinsdale Fire Department arrived. They performed CPR, used a defibrillator and administered Narcan, an opiate antidote. When Rescue Inc paramedics arrived they were able to regain a pulse and transport the patient to the hospital for further care.
The following individuals were honored Monday night for the March 18 incident: Cpl. Joshua Murray and Officer Timothy Richmond of Hinsdale Police; Asstistant Fire Chief Terry Zavorotny, Lieutenant Jason Antos, Jon Bobak, Kevin Cole and Patricia Lachenal of Hinsdale Fire; and Isaac Smith and Brittany Miner of Rescue Inc.
"In our job, a lot of us don't get the thanks we tend to deserve and it's just a thankless job," said Faulkner. "For years we go out and do the job and we hear the results, but the recognition sometimes isn't there."
Faulkner noted their work is not driven by recognition, but when department heads notice "outstanding" work, it's worth making those efforts known. Historically Faulkner says, they have not had a location to hold an awards ceremony such as was held Monday, but now with the new police department on Main Street, he feels such events are made possible.
In Hinsdale, the police are the only department that has an awards program, which is where police from any agency in the area may be recognized. Faulkner wanted to expand the awards program when he took over as chief in 2012, and this was the first year that he expanded the program to the Hinsdale Fire Department and other emergency services.
"We don't go to a lot of shooting calls, but we do go to a lot of medical calls," said Faulkner.
Maddi Shaw can be reached at 802-254-2311 ext 275