Doctor participating in Fireball Run stops to check on fallen Maine troop greeter

Posted Sept. 30, 2012, at 1:10 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 01, 2012, at 6:39 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — When the Waterbury “Spin Doctors” team arrived at Davenport Park on Saturday for its Fireball Run Adventurally stop, the team jumped out of its ambulance and real emergency room doctor Peter Jacoby put on his real-world hat.

A member of the Maine Troop Greeters, on hand to greet the nearly 40 rally vehicles, had passed out and was down on the ground.

“We were going by them, and one of the greeters came up and said one of their guys was down — we, of course, jumped out,” Jacoby, who is the emergency room director at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Conn., said Sunday morning during a phone interview. “I said, ‘I’m on my way.’”

The Fireball Run game was forgotten by the 30-year veteran ER doctor.

“This is what I do, and while we don’t usually like to do it on the street — you do what you have do,” Jacoby said.

The fallen troop greeter had regained consciousness and was being tended by a local ambulance crew by the time the veteran doctor arrived. Jacoby talked to the man and after seeing that he was in good hands, Jacoby and his rally partner, Paul Largay, continued on with the rally.

“The mission of [the Fireball Run] is to find missing children, but it’s a game, and we thought, ‘To heck with the game,’” he said about the decision to stop. “It was a lot more important than getting the extra five points for Fireball.”

More than three-dozen rally vehicles started in Independence, Ohio, and arrived in Bangor on Saturday for the last leg of the 8-day, 15-city, 2,500-mile interactive road rally held to help support the Race to Recovery of America’s Missing Children.

Along the way, participants were exposed to local history and trivia as they stopped at different East Coast and New England rally stops to get points.

Davenport Park is home to a memorial to honor the battleship USS Maine that exploded and sank in Havana Harbor 114 years ago, touching off the Spanish-American War.

To earn points, rally participants had to take a picture in front of the memorial, and each was given a Maine Troop Greeters coin.

“It just so happened that they were one of the groups stopping there,” Charlie Knowlen, troop greeter chairman, said Sunday.

While Jacoby’s services as a doctor were not needed, “they certainly could have helped if they needed to. It was pretty neat,” said Knowlen, who is an Eddington resident and Army veteran who served two tours in Vietnam.

Because Largay, who is not a physician, also was dressed in a doctor’s jacket when the two jumped out of their ambulance rally vehicle, Knowlen and others mistakenly thought there were two doctors.

“My friend is a travel agent and he’s calling himself Dr. Travel,” Jacoby said jokingly. “He’s an FD, a fake doctor, and I’m an RD, a real doctor.”

The team did not get any extra points for stopping to check on the Maine Troop Greeter, but they did get accolades at the Fireball Run dinner Saturday night, which is also where they heard the man was recovering well.

“We got the spirit award, which they said they gave to us because we defined what Fireball is all about,” the doctor said. “We felt really proud.”

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