Archive for November, 2011

Firefighter Save Elder Hockey Player in Ice Rink

Posted by cocreator on November 28, 2011
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An Ottawa firefighter said he’s looking forward to having a beer with the opposing player whose life he helped save during a game of hockey Friday night.


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Ottawa paramedics said a 61-year-old man was playing hockey at the Kanata Recreation Complex when he collapsed around 10:30 p.m. Friday.

Off-duty firefighter Pat Aubry skated over, felt he had no pulse and immediately asked for someone to call 911 and get the public access defibrillator, according to Ottawa Fire Services.

“I was assessing him and as I was assessing him his eyes rolled back and he went purple, so I started CPR,” said firefighter Pat Aubry.

CPR and one shock from the defibrillator were delivered, and paramedics said the man’s pulse was back when they arrived.

“We set it up on him and the machine did what it was supposed to do,” Aubry said.

He was taken to hospital conscious and is in stable condition.

Aubry, who looked after the patient’s children while their mother was at the hospital, said he’s done CPR plenty of times on the job.

Still, he insists the accolades aren’t his alone.

“(People say) ‘Thanks a lot Pat, you’re the guy that saved him,'” he said. “I said no, it was a team effort, everybody helped.”

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Contractors Save City Employee at Work

Posted by cocreator on November 25, 2011
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Alan Barney was able to sit up over a plate of spaghetti in his Saint Mary’s Hospital room Tuesday, hoping to spend Thanksgiving at home with his two sons, thanks to three employees at Reno Concrete Inc.

Barney, 58, a technician with the city of Reno’s public works department since 1999, was cutting roots for a project off of Robb Drive last week while the contractors with the concrete company were working nearby.

“Alan was bent down, he was sawing on a root and told our guys that ‘I’m getting too old for this,'” said Mike Popejoy, the owner of Reno Concrete, on Tuesday. “Then, he just passed out and fell backward.”

That’s when Raul Castillo, Bill Nagel and Jose Garcia started CPR and got one of the defibrillators stashed away in one of their work trucks. First responders arrived about a minute later, Popejoy said.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” Barney said from his hospital room. “Their guys showed up and saved my cookies.”

It wasn’t the first time Reno Concrete had faced a life-threatening situation. One of their employees suffered a heart attack three years ago, resulting in the company buying the defibrillators and training everyone how to use them, Popejoy said.

“You don’t think you’re ever going to use it,” he said. “But it was sure nice to have.”

After the heart attack, Barney woke up a couple of days later with tubes running into his body while his two sons, Justin, 18, and Ryan, 21, stayed by his side.

Barney had triple bypass surgery Saturday but was hoping to leave the hospital by Wednesday. And while he’s not sure about Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, his sons said they’ll likely delay their holiday dinner by a couple weeks to let their father recuperate.

Barney said he’s now thinking about retirement after nearly 33 years of public service, including jobs in Lassen County, Calif., and with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

And as families sit down around table to say what they’re thankful for this week, Justin Barney said that’s an easy question to answer: The men and the machine that helped save his father’s life.

“I think Reno should increase more of the defibrillators in the contractor trucks,” he said. “Because if it wasn’t there, he wouldn’t be here right now.”

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Firefighter & Paramedic Save Spectator at Hockey Game

Posted by cocreator on November 25, 2011
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You wish you never have to use it, but if you do you’re glad it’s there.


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That was the case at the Nov. 11 when the quick work of emergency personnel and effective use of a public access defibrillator saved the life of an Orleans man at the Smiths Falls Memorial Community Centre.

Joe McGrath was there to watch his grandson Connor play a Central Canada Hockey League game for the hometown Bears against the visiting Cumberland Grads. Towards the end of the first period, the gentleman passed out after his heart stopped as a result of cardiac arrhythmia.

Almost immediately, volunteer firefighter Paul Bisonette left his spot at the rink and came to his aid. He administered CPR while awaiting the arrival of the defibrillator that was on site at the rink.

Equipment manager Tom Arnold knew exactly where it was located and left the players bench to retrieve the vital equipment and rush it to the scene.

By then, Bears’ trainer Dale McCabe, a Lanark County paramedic, was also on hand and ready to place the pads and administer the initial shock to get the heart beating again.

Within seconds after resuming CPR, the gentleman’s breathing returned and he was even able to utter some words to those around him.

Having returned to life, emergency personnel were able to transport Mr. McGrath across the road to the Smiths Falls hospital before he was transferred to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Ottawa.

Some might call it a miracle. That so many capable individuals would be on site and be ready to take action to save this person’s life is truly remarkable. There are no words, Mr. McGrath says, to describe the thanks he has for all of them.

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Teammates Save Basketball Player in School

Posted by cocreator on November 24, 2011
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Jamie Alls was playing a weekly game of pick-up basketball with his friends at South Shore School last Tuesday when he started to feel some pain in his chest. At first, he left the gym and sat in the hallway. But one of his friends, Stacy Hilliard, told him to sit inside the gym.


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Moments later, Alls told his friends to call 911.

“Then I laid back and I looked at the ceiling and I was out,” Alls said.

He was in cardiac arrest.

Rob McCann, one of his friends, started chest compressions, something he had not done in years.

“I remember yelling to the guys, ‘Does anybody know how to do this better?'” McCann said.

Alls was quickly fading.

“I actually looked at his face. It was bluish-gray,” said John Santos. “I thought, we may not be able to get him back.”

Then Santos, an employee at South Shore School, remembered that the school recently installed a defibrillator down the hall.

“That’s when it hit me, we’ve got one of those things that’ll fix him,” Santos said. “So I ran and got it.”

The device started talking to the men, giving them instructions before shocking Alls and getting his heart started.

“His color came back right away,” Hilliard said.

Alls remembers hearing the defibrillator’s voice as he woke up.

“I was like, ‘What was that sound?'” he said. “And while I was conscious, it zapped me another time.”

Paramedics arrived moments later and rushed Alls to the hospital. He underwent angioplasty and is expected to make a full recovery.

Seattle Public Schools installed defibrillators in every school, administrative building and at all 15 outside sports fields at the beginning of the school year. The district collaborated with the Heart of Seattle Schools, a non-profit organization that includes the Seattle Seahawks, Sounders, hospitals and Nick of Time Foundation.

“It saved my life,” Alls said. “I’m here to tell you that was saved by that and I just cannot be more grateful for that.”

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Teammates Save Elderly Player at Softball Game

Posted by cocreator on November 23, 2011
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On Nov. 1, 66-year-old Henderson County Senior League Softball player Bill Curtis suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and died … four times.

Bill Curtis the Survivor with Tom Hendley and Ed Neace the Saviours

Thanks to the quick response of his fellow players, Tom Hendley and Ed Neace, and the fact that the league recently purchased a defibrillator to take to its games, Curtis is alive and well and able to tell his story.

“I remember reaching second base. After that, the next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital four days later,” said Curtis, who prior to the event had never had any health problems and had never been hospitalized.

Bill’s wife, Nancy, was at his bedside when he awoke.

“The first thing he said when he woke up was that he remembered hitting the ball hard over Ed’s head in the outfield and how mad Ed was,” Nancy Curtis said.

After Bill Curtis hit his double, the next batter hit a ball to the outfield to Neace.

“There were two outs, so Bill was running from second to third. Then he took off for home, hoping I’d miss the ball,” Neace, 63, said. “I caught it. I was coming in from the outfield when I saw it happen.”

Neace said Bill Curtis stumbled a little and then went head first into the fence.

“I didn’t realize it at the time. I was running back to the dugout from the field, then I saw someone lying down on the ground. I said, ‘Who’s down? Who’s down?’ Then I saw it was Bill. I rushed over to him and Tom was already there,” Neace said. “He said, ‘Call 911. He’s not responding.”

Just a few weeks before Bill Curtis’ cardiac arrest, several of the Henderson County Senior League softballers had participated in a CPR training class conducted by Dan Hayes of the EMS. Hendley, the Senior League’s president, had suggested the class for his fellow players and also suggested that they purchase a defibrillator to have at all their games.

“We had the training about 4-5 weeks earlier, and praise the Lord we had that training,” Neace said.

Hendley, 66, a retired police officer from New Jersey, was the first to see Bill Curtis go down.

“I went to him and turned him over, and he had a gash on his head where he had hit the fence,” Hendley said. “So I didn’t know if he had just tripped and hit the fence and that was his problem or if the problem had happened before that. When I saw that he was unresponsive, I knew the problem happened before he hit the fence.”

Without hesitation, Hendley and Neace put their training into action.

“So then I opened up his airway and tried to help him to breathe, and then I saw his eyes roll back, I knew we had lost him,” Hendley said.

Hendley immediately got the defibrillator and hooked Bill Curtis to it.

“The machine takes a few seconds to analyze, and it will tell you whether or not a shock is needed. When I hooked Bill up to it, it said ‘shock advised,’ so we shocked him. His body went clean off the ground, and we all stood back,” Hendley said. “It’s quite a jolt.”

“It’s a good thing I didn’t remember that,” Bill Curtis laughed.

After Hendley felt a faint pulse from the shock of the defribillator, he was trying to get Bill Curtis to breathe while Neace did chest compressions.

“We were both focused and working so feverishly to help Bill that we didn’t even notice the EMS guys arrive,” Hendley said.

“I was doing the chest compressions when I got tapped on the shoulder. It was the EMS guy, and I kept working and said, ‘Hang on, I’m still working on him.’ After the EMS guy took over, I had a sigh of relief,” Neace said.

“We were so into what we were doing, we didn’t know how much time had passed,” Hendley said.

“I know it wasn’t long before the EMS guys were there, but from the time he went down to the time they arrived, it seemed like an eternity. Everything was like in slow motion,” Neace said.

When EMS did take over CPR, Bill Curtis went into cardiac arrest again.

“The EMS guys got there and worked on him and then had to shock him again,” Hendley said. “Then they got him on the ambulance and took him to Pardee (Hospital).”

Bill Curtis’ nightmare wasn’t over yet. His heart stopped twice more in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

“They said he died four times … twice on the field and twice in the ambulance,” Neace said.

“That means he has five lives left,” Nancy Curtis said.

Once he was revived and doctors performed tests on him in the ICU, there was great news.

“The doctors said there was no heart or brain damage,” Neace said.

“The doctors said they were expecting to find some kind of blockage in the arteries and they were fully expecting to have to do heart surgery. They found nothing. They said I had a healthy heart, and they still have no clue why it stopped that day,” Bill Curtis said.

There were no warning signs for Bill Curtis, and on his official discharge papers from the hospital, the diagnosis was “sudden cardiac death.”

“They say there’s only like a 6 percent chance of surviving that,” Bill Curtis said.

Nancy Curtis remembers the call and was preparing for the worst when she made her way to Jackson Park that day.

“What’s strange is that Bill and I had talked just the night before about what would we do if something happened to one of us. We’ve been together 45 years, and being together with someone that long, I truly believe you get a sixth sense about someone. It was like we knew something was about to happen,” she said.

Bill Curtis is getting used to his new lifestyle after the event. Now, he has a device that will shock his heart, along with a pacemaker to regulate it, if cardiac arrest happens again.

One thing he’s having a hard time adjusting to is the fact that he can’t drive.

“I guess the law is that if you die, you aren’t allowed to drive for six months,” Nancy Curtis said.

But he will be allowed to get back on the field in just six weeks.

“That’s incredible when you think about it and when you witnessed what we did that day,” Neace said. “But if you knew what kind of a person Bill is, it wouldn’t really surprise you. He runs three miles a day, and he’s in better shape than most anyone on that field. He was the last person in the world I thought that would happen to.”

Bill Curtis has already been back to the field, cheering on his fellow players, but he’s itching to get the bat in his hands once again.

“He’s a great player, and we can’t wait to get him back,” Hendley said.

And Bill’s wife isn’t about to hold him back from the sport he loves.

“I truly believe that if Bill would’ve been home with me that day, and I live just a quarter-mile from Mission Hospital, he would be dead or brain damaged. It would’ve taken too long for trained help to arrive,” she said.

“For women worried about their men playing softball, let me say this: There is no safer place for your man to be than at Jackson Park on any Tuesday or Friday if it doesn’t rain or snow.”

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