First responders have a huge role in society. They all
help in their own specific way. Dispatchers, firefighters, ambulance drivers,
police officers and EMTs. They all take part in the process. Six Boxford first
responders got a “thank you” two and a half years after taking part in a big
Mike and Jennie Gaiss were watching a Patriots game against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. James White hit the end zone, and everyone was jumping around. But, Mike crushed to the ground, and it seemed like he was having a stroke. He is completely fine now, but that night will be always remembered.
always joke that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick saved my husband’s life because
we were literally the next day going to be hitting the road on a two-week road
trip for a business that we were then working on,” she said.
Fire Captain Jack Leary and his crew were celebrating,
and that’s when they got the call.
remember my heart rate probably being in the 120s when the call came in because
we were celebrating,” he said.
Jennie decided to say “thank you” to the people who
saved Mike. She used the help of the Patriots to proceed with her plan.
of times you might do something and you don’t hear anything about [the call],”
Boxford police officer Dave Barker said. “Sometimes you do. Sometimes you get
thank you cards. Sometimes you get letters. Sometimes people drop off cakes or
muffins or doughnuts, stuff like that saying thank you. Certainly nothing like
Barker, Fire Captain Leary, Dispatcher Jim Fernandes, Fire Chief Brian Geiger
and firefighters Matt Denomey and Kevin Foster were invited to watch game. They received field passes to watch pregame
warmups and even met Patriots
owner Robert Kraft.
was wonderful,” Chief Geiger said. “We don’t go into the job for
anybody to recognize us. For us, it’s what we do. We want to help people, but
for anybody to come back and say thank you and then really go a step further to
try and get us involved in an event is much appreciated.”
Jennie’s father was a volunteer firefighter for years.
She and Mike moved to Vermont, and her husband is ready to volunteer at the
local fire department. Jennie hopes that people will use her story to make a
difference in their community. We can all help in one way or another.
hope people recognize that across this country we count on people like that to
commit themselves to their communities and true fire and rescue, but there are
also all kinds of other ways to make an impact in whatever community you’re a
part of,” she said. “I hope by recognizing these first responders
that can sort of get people to consider themselves and what ways they may be
able to make an impact in their community in a positive way.”