Referee

Teen Baseball Player Save Umpire at Game

Posted by cocreator on June 06, 2014
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A local high school baseball game came to an abrupt end when an umpire collapsed Friday night.

The game was between Newton High School and Rockdale High School. The teams didn’t even make it halfway through the game when witnesses say the home plate umpire collapsed right behind the batter.

Alex Norwood, 16, said the incident happened between the second and third innings: The umpire just collapsed.

Norwood said his instincts kicked in and he ran over to help the umpire, who was suffering from some sort of medical emergency.

“They had gotten to call 911 and they said, ‘Does anyone know CPR?’ I got certified a little while ago, I checked for a pulse compressions,” Norwood said.

Norwood said he had just become CPR certified two weeks prior.

“I didn’t think I would use it, but I am glad I know how to do it,” Norwood said.

This is evidence as to why it is important to know how to administer CPR.

Jarrid Harris coaches Norwood’s team at Rockdale High School.

“I thought I was going to turn around and see a professional. That is how confident the voice behind me was. When I turned around and saw Alex,” Harris said.

But Norwood remains humble about what he did.

“I feel like I didn’t do that much, I just got it started before the EMT got there…it was the coaches, EMT that really did it,” Norwood said.

Not only that, Harris said the incident is an important reminder.

“It really speaks on the importance of not only being CPR trained but certified, that everybody can do it,” Harris said.

Channel 2 Action News is still working to get an update on the umpire’s condition.

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Coaches & Nurses Save Referee at Soccer Game

Posted by cocreator on April 03, 2014
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It could have been a very different outcome at an Airport High School soccer game last month when one of the game’s referees collapsed.


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Ramon Gil was ready for the Airport High lady Eagles’ scrimmage.

“I was feeling normal as usual,” said Gil. “Got ready for the game, put my stuff in the bag, and went out to the game.”

Gil also said he felt nothing out of the ordinary that day.

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“The last thing I remember, there was a scramble toward the opposing side of the field and so I had to take off, turn on the fire burners, so to speak, to keep up with the girls and they told me I fell mid-field, so I only ran about 25 yards, collapsed,” said Gil.

A referee for 11 years and a Latin dance instructor, Gil considered himself to be in great shape. But none of that mattered that day.

Certified athletic trainer and University of South Carolina graduate student Shea deWeber rushed onto the field from the sidelines.

“We resuscitated him using CPR, we put the AED on him, and delivered one shock,” said deWeber. “After that, his vitals came back and he seemed to be stable until EMS arrived.”

“Everybody sees us taping ankles and looking at a shoulder during a football game. What they don’t see is that we are educated to help out in emergency situations,” said head athletic trainer Karen Edwards.

deWeber acted immediately, relying on his training. Several USC undergrads assisted and two nurses who were sitting in the stands came to his aide.

“I didn’t do anything special, anything different than any other athletic trainer would have done in my situation,” said deWeber.

Gil is grateful.

“There was one artery 100 percent blocked, there was another one, 90 percent blocked and another one was 75 percent blocked,” said Gil.

Four days later, he had a triple bypass.

“They said there was really nothing I could have done to prevented it, that it was genetics,” said Gil.

A soccer ball signed by the team now serves as a reminder of what could have been.

“I really appreciate the fact that I have another chance to do something in life,” said Gil. “I was gone. There was 15 minutes, no heartbeat. If there hadn’t been an AED, the defibrillator on the field, you wouldn’t be able to talk to me today. I wouldn’t be here.”

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Coaches & Firefighter Save Referee during Soccer Game

Posted by cocreator on February 14, 2014
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Two weeks ago on an athletic field at Salpointe Catholic High School soccer referee Michael Chaison collapsed and died.


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Before stunned onlookers, Chaison lay on the field in sudden cardiac arrest. Players from both teams gathered and knelt on the field and prayed the “Our Father”as a group of Salpointe athletic personnel and an off-duty fire captain raced to bring him back to life.

It was, fire officials say, their decisive actions in calling for help and beginning chest-compression-only CPR on Chaison that helped save him.

Michael Chaison the Survivor

Michael Chaison the Survivor

On Wednesday, Chaison gathered with his rescuers for the first time since that night, Jan 28. The veteran referee emotionally showed his gratitude to three Salpointe staff members and a Tucson Fire Department captain for saving him.

“You really can’t thank somebody for this,” said Chaison, 56, holding back tears as his family, school staff members and Tucson Fire personnel looked on at a ceremony at Salpointe. He said their actions gave him a second chance for life to share with Linda, his wife of 35 years, and their two children, a granddaughter and another grandchild expected soon.

Chaison stood near his rescuers: Kyle Bowen, a certified athletic trainer; Phil Gruensfelder, athletic director; Keith Shinaberry, assistant athletic director; and Tucson Fire Capt. Michael Coyle.

Looking back at the night he was refereeing a game between Salpointe and Sabino high schools, it’s easy to see why he is thankful.

Chaison’s heart stopped beating and within minutes he was administered CPR and given an electrical shock from an automated external defibrillator, while the emergency was reported to 911.

Paramedics arrived at the school, 1545 E. Copper St., in less than five minutes and took over his treatment, administering medication and transporting Chaison to University of Arizona Medical Center within 15 minutes of his collapse.

Chaison, who has a family history of heart disease, just remembered feeling good that night, being on the field and ready for the match.

The next thing he remembered was waking up in the emergency room, where he underwent exams.

One exam showed that he had suffered an earlier heart attack and he did not know it. It could have happened in his sleep, doctors told him.

Chaison had stents inserted and underwent a balloon angioplasty to clear one artery, and doctors also inserted an internal cardiac defibrillator under the skin on his upper left side with a wire leading to a ventricle of the heart. He was released days later, and will undergo cardiotherapy in two weeks.

Salpointe athletic officials have first-aid training and the automated external defibrillator is kept on the sidelines at games for emergencies.

Chaison laughed with Coyle, who was at the game to cheer on the Sabino team, because the two spoke about the CPR Chaison received, which fractured several of his ribs. “Every time I sneeze, my chest hurts,” he said.

Linda Chaison said this last medical emergency is enough for the family.

“It comes in threes,” she quipped, explaining that for the last 2½ years she has dealt with breast cancer and leukemia and now is in remission.

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Umpire Saves Ballpark Server

Posted by cocreator on October 17, 2013
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Jim Joyce is a baseball umpire known for his famous blown call, costing a pitcher a perfect game. But on August 20, 2012, Joyce made the best call of his life, and it was right here in Phoenix at Chase Field.

Jane Powers, a ballpark server, starts every home game the same way — by coming into work early and walking seven laps around the stadium. On this memorable game day, Powers walked down into the tunnel where workers have their pregame meeting.

“My muscles contracted and they felt weird to me, so I went over to my friend and I said, ‘I don’t feel right,’” Powers recalled.

This was the last thing that she remembered.

Joyce happened to be the umpire for that evening’s game. As he was heading towards the umpire locker room, he had seen Powers fall to the ground. Luckily, Joyce had previously learned CPR and was in the right place at the right time.

Due to Joyce’s heroic effort, Powers was able to survive going into cardiac arrest five times.

Today, Powers is healthy and back at Chase Field.

“I need to pay it forward and get the message out. I take it personal. I am here for a reason and I need to fulfill that reason,” she said.

Powers has recently started to throw birthday parties that involve teaching CPR to her friends. Someone who learned at one of her parties has gone on to use CPR to save another life.

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Coach Saves Referee at Game

Posted by cocreator on October 17, 2013
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An automated external defibrillator,commonly known as an “AED” is the piece of medical equipment responsible for saving Pete Swiggum’s life Monday, after he collapsed onto the field while officiating a football game at Notre Dame Academy.


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“I was just reffing the game, I had just spotted the football and walked around the defensive line to get to my position and the lights went out,” explains Swiggum, “It was something related to my heart having a small leak.”

“It was very surreal, and very scary,” says Notre Dame Athletic Director Ken Flaten.

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Terry Hess is a Prevea Health Athletic Trainer who is present at every Notre Dame sporting event. He came to the rescue with the AED, something Notre Dame has had for years but never used.

“All of the studies have shown that if you manage to get an AED on someone within two minutes of their collapsing their chances of survival increase dramatically. It is our best chance at getting someone to live if we can manage to do that,” says Hess.

“I wouldn’t be here today if I would have been driving, if I had been in the backyard, in the basement somewhere where no one was around it could have been the last time,” says Swiggum.

Swiggum says as soon as he’s feeling better he plans to come back to the field to officiate games just as he’s done the last two decades.

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