North Country
7:22 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

North Country Falls Rescue: 'I Can't Breathe' Is Good To Hear

When a 36-year-old Massachusetts man said “I can’t breathe” Abriana Tasillo was delighted.

Tasillo, an EMT and Boston University student, was at the Upper Ammonoosuc Falls Saturday when Freddy Poisson jumped into the water to try and help a 15-year-old who was screaming for help.

The falls – in Crawford’s Purchase not far from the Mount Washington Hotel – are well known for dangerous undercurrents.

Poisson was pulled under by the current just before the 15-year-old managed to grab a rock and climb from the water.

A few minutes later Poisson surfaced.

“He was facedown, kind of like a deadman’s float,” said Tasillo, 20.

Tasillo and three Boston University friends – Declan Bowman, Molly Tobin and Forrest Rosenblum – jumped into the water and swan out to Poisson.

Tasillo said they couldn’t touch bottom but managed to flip Poisson on his back and tow him to shore.

She couldn’t find a pulse.

“He did not look like he was in a good place,” she said. “It was really scary.”

She began CPR and eventually – to her amazement – Poisson told her he couldn’t breathe. That was good news since to be able to speak he had to be able to breathe.

Saturday night Poisson, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was at Littleton Regional Hospital where he declined an interview.