Thanksgiving volunteer ‘thankful’ for being at right place at right time to save overdosing man

Posted Dec. 06, 2013, at 9:41 a.m.
Last modified Dec. 06, 2013, at 3:23 p.m.
Justin Faloon, a member of DEEMI Search and Rescue, repacks a bag after a search for two lost hunters from Millinocket. While out searching for a missing Bangor man on Thanksgiving Day, Faloon ended up saving the life of a man who had overdosed at a Bangor convenience store.
Justin Faloon, a member of DEEMI Search and Rescue, repacks a bag after a search for two lost hunters from Millinocket. While out searching for a missing Bangor man on Thanksgiving Day, Faloon ended up saving the life of a man who had overdosed at a Bangor convenience store. Buy Photo
Justin Faloon, a member of DEEMI Search and Rescue, recounts saving a mans life on Thanksgiving Day while out on a search.
Justin Faloon, a member of DEEMI Search and Rescue, recounts saving a mans life on Thanksgiving Day while out on a search. Buy Photo
Justin Faloon, a member of DEEMI Search and Rescue, out searching for a missing Bangor man on Thanksgiving Day, ended up saving the life of a man who had overdosed at a Bangor convenience store.
Justin Faloon, a member of DEEMI Search and Rescue, out searching for a missing Bangor man on Thanksgiving Day, ended up saving the life of a man who had overdosed at a Bangor convenience store. Buy Photo

BANGOR, Maine — Down East Emergency Medical Institute volunteers Justin Faloon and Rick Emery spent Thanksgiving searching the banks of the Penobscot River for a missing Bangor man to no avail, but ended the day by saving a life.

The duo stopped by the Mobil On the Run convenience store at the corner of Union Street and Griffin Road in Bangor after spending the entire holiday checking more than 30 riverfront spots for 46-year-old Cecil Worster, who hasn’t been seen since Nov. 21.

Faloon, who was wearing a search-and-rescue jacket at the time, said he was talking with a man inside the store when “a male ran in saying a guy out in the car was unresponsive and not breathing.”

“People all looked at me because I had this blue reflective jacket with search and rescue printed on it,” said Faloon, an Old Town resident and former firefighter and emergency medical technician in the region. “Everyone just moved out of my way. His girlfriend was screaming that he had overdosed.”

The unresponsive man, who Faloon estimated was in his 20s, had a weak pulse but was not breathing.

“My partner called 911 by radio from the Humvee … and I started mouth to mouth,” Faloon said. “I gave him approximately a minute’s worth of rescue breathing.”

A store employee came out to assist Faloon and the man “all of a sudden opened his eyes and took a breath,” Faloon said. “It was like he was coming up from being in water, getting a breath of air.

“My exact thought in my head when he took that breath was, ‘Holy s—-, that actually worked,’” Faloon recalled. “I’m a CPR instructor but I’ve never had to do it.”

Faloon has taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic lifesaving techniques for about 15 years.

He said the shock of what happened delayed the emotions he later felt about helping to save a man’s life. Faloon added that he doesn’t even remember the name of the man he helped to resuscitate.

“Monday night, that is when it really hit me,” he said. “It’s been a roller coaster.”

Meanwhile, none of the search efforts on Thanksgiving Day and in the days since have located any sign of Cecil Worster, Bangor police Sgt. Cathy Rumsey said Thursday.

Worster is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing blue Patriots wind pants, an olive-colored long-sleeve T-shirt, a black stocking cap, white sneakers and a wooden beaded necklace.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Worster can call Detective Myron Warner at 947-7384, ext. 5740, or the department’s anonymous tip line, which can be accessed by pressing ext. 6.

Faloon recalled that he and fellow DEEMI volunteer Emery spent so much time searching for Worster that Thursday that they ate pizza at Tozier’s in Bucksport for their Thanksgiving meal.

And whether it was fate or happenstance that placed Faloon and Emery at the Bangor convenience store later that day to save a man’s life, Faloon said, “I’m really thankful for being at the right place at the right time. I had all the medical equipment I needed and had the knowledge to get the job done.

“The guys who do this every day are the real heroes,” he said.

BDN reporter Dawn Gagnon contributed to this story.

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