KENNEBUNK, Maine — After Gavin “Scotty” Falconer was stopped by Kennebunk police Officer Matt Harrington on July 26, all he got was a shirt — and a second chance at life.
The shirt was presented to him by Police Chief Bob MacKenzie in front of a standing room only crowd of residents and media members on Tuesday night on the third floor of the Kennebunk Town Hall. The pink polo — intended to replace the one officers tore during Falconer’s traffic stop for speeding — read, “I survived a KPD traffic stop.”
The second chance at life came 20 days ago, when Falconer and his wife, Janet Falconer, were driving down Fletcher Street and passed Officer Matthew Harrington, one of two officers conducting a speed patrol on the street.
Harrington pulled the vehicle over, asked for Scotty Falconer’s driver’s license and registration and went back to his cruiser to write a warning. But he soon heard screaming. Returning to the vehicle, Harrington found Falconer slumped over the wheel, unresponsive.
Harrington, who also is an emergency medical technician, called for backup and started CPR. Officer Michael Tucci, who was nearby, arrived with an automatic external defibrillator.
Harrington administered one shock to Falconer, who regained a pulse and was attempting to breathe as EMS crews arrived.
Just last week, Falconer had a pacemaker installed, and on Tuesday night, he was on hand to see Harrington and Tucci honored for their role in saving his life.
MacKenzie presented both men with awards for their actions that day.
“They were in the right, right place at the right time,” MacKenzie said, calling the incident “a miracle.”
He said the officers responded quickly, did an extremely professional job and had captured the attention of people around the globe, who had contacted town officials to commend them.
MacKenzie read a letter from a Kennebunk resident who witnessed the incident, and then presented plaques to both Harrington and Tucci “for the distinguished service you displayed on July 26.”
“It’s good publicity for the town, that’s for sure,” said Kennebunk selectman Kevin Donovan. “Public safety doesn’t get enough of that.”
Town Clerk Merton Brown said the incident, which was reported around the country, captured the public’s attention.
“I got emails from California, Arizona, Mexico — from all over the country and parts of the world, all positive, wanting to send a congratulatory message to the town for the great work,” he said.
And Falconer himself was grateful, if at a loss for words.
“I am just very, very thankful,” he said. “There’s not much more I can say.”