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Firefighter receives Merit Award for saving unresponsive toddler

October 23, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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Firefighter Spencer Shea, right, is joined by his son, Lazaro; wife, Peggy; and daughter, Catherine, as he accepts the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company Merit Award.

The Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company presented first-year firefighter Spencer Shea with a Merit Award for saving an unresponsive 18-month-old child in September.

Shea was cleaning the kitchen at the company’s Route 19 station at 6 p.m. Sept. 20 when the front doorbell rang. He found two adults and two young children yelling that a child had a seizure and was not breathing. Shea took the 18-month-old girl into his arms, and noticed she was blue. He began performing resuscitation until the child’s eyes began to open and color returned to her face. Shea walked the family next door to Cranberry EMS, where paramedics were awaiting their arrival. The child was transported for evaluation and is alive partly due to Shea’s quick actions, the fire company said.

The Merit Award is given for exceptional meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. Only four Merit Awards have been given in the company’s history. The CTVFC board of directors agreed Shea’s actions warranted this award.

“We believe that there may have been a different outcome had Spencer not gotten involved in this situation,” said Assistant Chief John Pristas. “He has shown great initiative during the time that he has been a member at CTVFC, and we believe he will continue to make an impact on the future development of the fire company.”

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