Off-duty firefighter-EMT saves woman having stroke at movie theater

Dan Stalfire was at the movies with his family watching “I Can Only Imagine” when he heard a woman struggling in his row

By Firerescue1 Staff

RALEIGH, N.C. — A firefighter-EMT saved a woman having a stroke while he was watching a movie at a theater with his family.

ABC11 reported that Granville County volunteer firefighter and Franklin county EMT Dan Stalfire was watching “I Can Only Imagine” at Marquee Cinemas when he “noticed there was a commotion.”

"I don't normally go to movies that time of day," Stalfire said. "I noticed there was a commotion going on in our row.”

Stalfire said that a woman in her mid 70’s was struggling, and he sprang into action.

"The right side of her body was starting to – I guess you would say seize would be the right word. So she was having a really hard time walking," Stalfire said.

He and three other people carried the woman down the stairs, where Stalfire gave her a stroke test and called 911.

"I just basically confirmed her, I checked her vitals. I made sure that she was stable, and I just did the best I could to try and ease her. She was very panicky and scared. I just did the best I could to comfort her," Stalfire said. "To end up in the same row as she was, to me that was almost like divine intervention.”

Stalfire said he wants to get a sense of closure by learning more about what happened to her.

"With this lady, I was with her for a good 20 minutes or so, and I think we made a pretty good connection. I'd love to get more information on her care, what happened.”

Stalfire and his family received free movie tickets from the theater as a sign of gratitude.

"Not often do you have patrons that are not only willing to help someone in need but also understand the fact that their movie viewing experience was interrupted by a medical emergency," Marquee Cinemas Wakefield General Manager Rose Garvey said .


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