Patriots Surprise Six Boxford First Responders With Special ‘Thank You’

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 story.

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.

“We 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.

“I 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.

“A lot 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 this.”

Officer 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.

“It 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.

“I 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.”

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