NEWS

First responders honored for saving one of their own

Posted 11/25/21

For 30 years Miles Steere responded to emergency situations as a member of the Warwick Fire Department. 

But on May 14 Steere was on the receiving end of help. 

That night he …

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NEWS

First responders honored for saving one of their own

Posted

For 30 years Miles Steere responded to emergency situations as a member of the Warwick Fire Department. 

But on May 14 Steere was on the receiving end of help. 

That night he awoke with chest pains he never endured before. 

Not wanting to wake his wife up right away he went downstairs but the pains continued. He knew from his experience and training as a first responder that he was having a heart attack and asked his wife to call 911. At that point she was concerned. 

He was right, not only was he having a heart attack but he had a “widowmaker” one, which has a very small survival rate, Steere said. 

Because of his experience he knew that the most important thing was to accept that he was having a heart attack, noting that getting help right away is critical. 

When the ambulance arrived he saw familiar faces. The fire rescue that responded was from Station 3, which is next to Warwick Veterans Middle School and was one of the stations he oversaw as Battalion Chief for two years until he retired in 2017. 

Steere told the first responders that he wasn’t doing well. They believed him, he said. 

The first responders consisting of Lieutenant Daniel DeRobbio, Firefighter Ryan Dursin, Firefighter John Perry, Rescue Lieutenant Kevin Rivet, and Rescue Driver Paul Alexander rushed him to Kent Hospital where they have a Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

Despite retiring from the fire department four years ago, Steere said that the family-like relationship that is developed as a fire department never waivers. 

He said that while he was in the emergency room being prepped for surgery, someone was always in the hallway overlooking him. 

As soon as he was prepped for surgery he was brought into the operation room. He said only minutes after getting on the table he coded. 

Steere credited the firefighters who responded to his call for keeping him in good enough condition to make it to the operating table. 

“If it had happened anywhere else I probably wouldn’t be here today,” he said. 

After recovering, Steere visited Fire Chief  Peter McMichael to tell him about the incident. Even though they didn’t want it he wanted to make sure the first responders got the recognition they deserved. 

The City Council recognized the first responders at their Nov. 15 meeting.

“This is something that you men and women do everyday. It's important that we take time to thank you because this is life or death,” Council President Steve McAllister said. “We are talking about life and death here.”

Councilman Tim Howe said he wanted to put into perspective what it meant for the fire department to save Steere.

“Miles has the opportunity now to walk his daughter down the aisle. That was almost taken from him,” Howe said. 

Councilwoman Donna Travis, who grew up with Steere in Oakland Beach said she is appreciative of all firefighters and was happy to see Miles. 

“I’m glad to see you that you are here and feeling better,” Travis said. 

Before his heart attack, Steere said that there were no signs that something like it would happen. He felt fit and healthy.

“No one saw it coming, that's for sure,” he said. 

Steere said he has an implanted cardiac defibrillator/ pacemaker that he will likely have for the rest of his life. 

With that said, he feels lucky to be alive. 

“At least I have a life.”

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