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Heroes honored in Leonia for saving Overpeck heart attack victim

Photo Credit: ABOVE: Officer Michael Clark, Detective Michael Jennings, Officer Sihoon Chung, Andrade, Officers Steven Oxnard and Raymond Forsdahl
Photo Credit: ABOVE: Officer Michael Clark, Detective Michael Jennings, Officer Sihoon Chung, Andrade, Officers Steven Oxnard and Raymond Forsdahl

SHOUT OUTS: A group of first responders and a pair of good Samaritans who brought a man who collapsed in Overpeck Park in Leonia back to life were honored this week for their heroism by borough officials – and the victim himself.

Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan and state Sen. Loretta Weinberg were among those on hand for Wednesday night’s ceremony at borough hall honoring all of those involved.  So was the man who was saved, Jose “Numa” Andrade.

The incident occurred just before 10:30 the morning of Aug. 27, when Andrade began having severe chest pains while walking with his wife on a jogging path in the park’s north end.

After sitting down on a bench, he collapsed.

Police responding to a call of a man in cardiac arrest found Maria Soler and Brent Burns doing CPR on Andrade, whom they’d stretched out.

They not only used their own knowledge: They also had Bergen County Public Safety Telecommunicators Britta Beacham, Kelly Conway and Michael Palmer giving them cellphone instructions.

Officers Ray Forsdahl, Michael Jennings, Sihoon Chung, Steve Oxnard and Special Officer Michael Clark (who also works as a full-time EMT for Englewood Hospital) took over, hooking the victim to a portable defibrillator, Police Chief Thomas Rowe said.

Chung administered the first shock while his colleagues continued CPR. It got Andrade’s heart pumping again, the chief said.

The officers “continued to provide oxygen to him until paramedics arrived,” Rowe said.

Paramedics Sean Conboy and Sean Reilly from Holy Name Medical Center and EMTs Kyle Conboy and Alexandra Lipari from Englewood Hospital and Medical Center took it from there.

Andrade eventually recovered fully at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.

“I was on the scene during the entire duration of the call,” the chief said. “I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of the two civilians that initiated the CPR and the actions taken by Officers Forsdahl, Jennings, Oxnard, Chung and Clark.

“Collectively, their dedication and hard work saved a life.”

1: Good Samaritans Maria Soler and Brent Burns flank Numa “Jose” Andrade and Leonia Mayor John DeSimone
2: Dispatchers, good Samaritans, DeSimone, Andrade, police, EMTs, paramedics
3: State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan
(PHOTO ABOVE: Officer Michael Clark, Detective Michael Jennings, Officer Sihoon Chung, Andrade, Officers Steven Oxnard and Raymond Forsdahl)

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