Streetsboro firefighter collapses during EMS training Monday
A Streetsboro firefighter is in intensive care after he suddenly collapsed at the fire station late Monday morning, but fortunately he was surrounded by plenty of help.
The Streetsboro Fire Department posted on Facebook that the firefighter collapsed at about 11:50 a.m. in the presence of not only fellow paramedics, but also the department's medical control physician, who was giving a presentation during EMS training.
Streetsboro Fire Capt. Kevin Grimm confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the firefighter is Chris Fredmonsky. According to a statement his brother Matt Fredmonsky emailed to the Record-Courier Tuesday afternoon, he has shown improvement. He was still in intensive care but had been taken off a ventilator, was talking to family and was in "good spirits."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Chris Fredmonsky and his family. As of Tuesday afternoon, $1,400 had been raised towards a $10,000 goal.
Fire Chief Robert Reinholz said early Monday evening that at that time, the firefighter was in critical but stable condition, and the chief is hopeful he will recover.
"I think he's gonna get better. I'm very optimistic," said Reinholz.
The chief said, however, said it did not look so good after the firefighter went into cardiac arrest.
"We were just all in shock. He collapsed right there," said Reinholz.
Advanced life support efforts, including CPR, IVs and defibrillation, were immediately started. He was taken to University Hospitals Portage Medical Center, where his pulse and respiration were regained. He was then sent to a cardiac catheterization lab for additional care.
The Kent and Ravenna city fire departments temporarily sent personnel to the Streetsboro fire station to help with calls. Streetsboro police also provided assistance.
"Additional Streetsboro firefighters have been called in to relieve those that were on-duty so that they may continue to decompress and cope with this event," the fire department posted Monday on Facebook. "Again, our Brother remains in the care of the medical team at UHPMC. Please keep him, his family, and his fire station family in your thoughts and prayers."
According to the GoFundMe page, Chris Fredmonsky has been a firefighter in Streetsboro since 1992 and also works for the Edinburg Fire Department. He has donated time and money to animal rescues and charities.
Reinholz said he is grateful that so much expert help was at hand, but the fire department is still dealing with what happened.
"I think his outcome is going to be favorable. I am optimistic about his outcome," said Reinholz. "But when it's one of your own, it just — I'm still distraught. Can't believe what happened."
The incident was the talk of Monday evening's City Council meeting, with members offering prayers for the firefighter, including mentioning him during the invocation that started the session. Several council members praised the quick action of the fire department.
Mayor Glenn Broska, a former firefighter, said he was shocked to hear the news.
"I've known this young man through half his life," Broska said. "He's a tough guy. I'm sure he's going to be OK."
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at [email protected].