By Brenda Crowell

Staff Reporter

A Mendon man will live to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary thanks to the heroic efforts of the town’s first responders.

At the Select Board meeting on May 26, multiple public safety officials were on hand to receive Life-Saver Commendations for their role in saving resident Peter Moniz’s life after he suffered a heart attack in February.

“We’ve been married almost 50 years, so thank God I can celebrate that anniversary,” said Moniz’s wife, Corlis, who then read from a letter she had sent to Fire Chief Bill Kessler the previous week detailing her call to 911 and the first responders’ actions.

“February 27 of 2022 was a very dark night in our lives, when my husband, Peter, had a massive heart attack, fell to the floor, and was nonresponsive,” she read. “Angela (Buerstatte), my dispatch responder, was on her game as she calmed me and walked me through CPR on my beloved husband of 50 years. It seemed like moments when the Mendon response team came through our doors and jumped in to save my husband’s life.”

Buerstatte determined that Peter was in cardiac arrest and began to coach Corlis in providing CPR. Mendon’s responders were notified that a cardiac arrest was happening, “(The first responders) treatment on the scene led to what is called spontaneous circulation, meaning the patient’s heart was now working and was no longer in cardiac arrest,” Kessler explained.

Kessler added those first responders determined Peter had an ST-elevation myocardial infarction, which is generally more severe than other heart attacks and usually involves a complete blockage of a coronary artery. He was transported to the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

The Commendation bars, along with a few other gifts, were handed out by Corlis and Peter.

Police Chief David Kurczy noted that Mendon’s use of the regional Metacomet Emergency Communications Center (MECC) for dispatch was a significant factor.

“It can save lives,” said Kurczy “If we had a dispatcher sitting there, that one dispatcher for Mendon, they would have to deal with the engines, the ambulance, the police officers, everybody else calling in, and that vital info you got, you might not have gotten if we had our own dispatch, and not because we were inactive with the dispatcher there. We don’t have the staffing that regional dispatch can provide us.”

Kurczy also lauded the select boards over the years for its role in improving public safety.

“There are more, happy stories because of what you’ve invested in this public safety department. I think it’s something you should be proud of.”

“Through it all, the memory of your grace and medical expertise gave me the hope to sustain myself. I will never forget those valuable minutes of acute attentiveness to my husband and me,” said Corlis.


MEN First Responders Receive Commendation

At a Select Board meeting, Mendon first responders were given Life Saver Commendations for saving the life of Peter Moniz. Pictured back row L to R: Select Board Vice Chair Lawney Tinio, Metacomet Communications Supervisor Angela Buerstatte, FF/EMT Aram Taft, Lt./Paramedic Craig Burnham, FF/EMT Leonard Morgante, FF/Paramedic Alex Drella, Police officer Sean Malone, and Police Officer John (Jack) Coffey, Select Board Chair Michael Merolli and Select Board member Michael Goddard. Front row L to R: Corlis Moniz, Peter Moniz, and Celeste Benjamin. (Michelle Sanford photo)