Firefighter saves heart attack victim during grocery run

A firefighter-paramedic and a nurse who were shopping at the store performed CPR; the man called the response a “perfect storm”


STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — A man who suffered a heart attack in a grocery store got to thank a firefighter-paramedic who saved his life.

The Post reported 73-year-old Ron Glassco had stopped by the Strongsville Giant Eagle Market District on Dec. 3 to pick up groceries on his way home.

“I got near the wine area and all of a sudden the lights started flashing in my eyes,” Glassco said. “That was it. I don’t remember anything more from that point on.”

Strongsville firefighter-paramedic Brian Polasko was at the store buying groceries for his fire department when he heard an announcement asking for a paramedic.

“I had my head in the cooler. I wasn’t sure I heard the announcement. It was almost like background noise,” Polasko said. “I heard, ‘Would the paramedic in the store please come to the wine section?’ It sounded so non-urgent, but I started running that way. Ron was in full arrest. I radioed for the guys waiting for me outside.”

Lisa Wosnak, a nurse, happened to walk into the store moments before Glassco collapsed. She started CPR almost immediately.

Glassco’s daughter, Carmen, a nurse practitioner, realized how unlikely her father’s survival was.

“To know the amount of time that CPR took place and to see what he’s like today is a 100 percent miracle,” Carmen said. “Most people if they are out that long, the outcome is not that positive. He didn’t look too good in the ER, but to be able to talk with me was amazing … It was later that I found out just how many people were involved. The whole situation was a miracle. It truly speaks to the power of CPR being started right away.”

Glassco, who said the grocery store incident was a “perfect storm,” was thankful for Polasko and Wosnak’s help.

“All the angels were there,” he said. “I want to thank everyone for everything they did. There were a lot of people involved in this to bring me around and keep me going.”

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