KENNEBUNK, Maine — Janet Falconer said two police officers acted as guardian angels last weekend when they saved her husband’s life after a traffic stop.
“They were absolutely angels from heaven,” said Janet Falconer, who was driving down Fletcher Street with her husband Gavin “Scotty” Falconer on their way to a Saturday night treat — Shane’s of Maine ice cream.
Her husband was going five miles per hour over the speed limit, Janet Falconer said, when they passed Officer Matthew Harrington, one of two officers conducting a speed patrol on the street.
Harrington pulled the couple over, met the husband and wife at their vehicle, asked for Scotty Falconer’s driver’s license and registration and went back to his cruiser to write a warning, but as he was filling out the paperwork he heard someone screaming for help.
Thinking it was coming from a surrounding neighborhood, Harrington said he didn’t even finish writing the warning. He went back to the Falconers’ vehicle, planning to hand it to them and check out the screams. He then saw 84-year-old Scotty Falconer slumped over the wheel.
Harrington quickly checked for a pulse and said there was none. Harrington, who is also an emergency medical technician, radioed for an EMS response and Officer Michael Tucci, who was located nearby also conducting speed detail.
He pulled then Falconer out of the vehicle and started CPR.
Tucci arrived within one minute with an automatic external defibrillator and Harrington administered one shock to Falconer, who regained a pulse and was attempting to breathe as EMS crews arrived.
Scotty Falconer was transported to Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and on Thursday afternoon was transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland to insert a pacemaker, his wife said.
Janet Falconer said her husband has had prior heart attacks and on Saturday his heart rhythm “went off and just went wonky.” Then, she said, his heart stopped.
“It’s been really scary. If Officer Harrington hadn’t stopped Scotty, we could have crashed and we both could have been killed,” Janet Falconer said. “He was our guardian angel, I guess.”
The entire ordeal happened in less than five minutes, Harrington said, and just before he said he and Tucci had stopped about 20 vehicles.
“It’s the stop-of-a-lifetime kind of thing,” Harrington said. “It will certainly go down in my mind as one of the most memorable.”
The Falconers have lived in Kennebunk for more than 40 years and Janet Falconer said her husband is most known locally for his work with the Shriners, particularly his fundraising efforts. Janet Falconer said her husband has been a member of the Shriners for 50 years this August and is scheduled to receive his 50-year pin.
“It’s really close to his heart,” she said. “He works hard for other people, so I’m glad that something good happened to him.”
While they never did get their ice cream, Janet Falconer said they sure got something better — a miracle.
“It’s a good thing that we did head out and we were on the road and Matt stopped him. If we had been at home I might not have known what happened,” she said. “It all happened so fast. It was quite a miracle.”
She said Officers Harrington and Tucci “did a wonderful job” and knew just what to do. Once her husband regained his pulse, Janet Falconer said Officer Tucci came and held her hand and tried to calm her down.
“He was just so caring. It’s nice to know we have that kind of police force,” she said. “They were just so efficient and knew what they were doing. It’s nice to know that here in Kennebunk we have such a well-trained department.”
The Falconers have not seen the officers since Saturday, but would like to soon to thank them, Janet Falconer said. Through this reporter, she sent hugs and love to them Thursday.
“When this is all over and quieted down, I want to be able to thank them,” she said. “If you see them, give them hugs from me. Tell them I just love them to pieces.”