(Originally published January 2019.)

While we hope the worst-case scenario never happens, the best thing we can do is be prepared for it. That is something Mark Morgano, Walden EHS Division Director, experienced first-hand during a hockey game, where a plan – and a team – came together to save the life of a friend and teammate.

During a recent hockey game, members of the team including Morgano noticed that the goalie was laying on the ice. At first, they thought he might be stretching or resting, but realized quickly something was wrong – he was in complete cardiac arrest. Morgano went to the front desk to alert the rink director to call 911, he then recalled that an AED (automatic external defibrillator) was nearby and was able to grab it and return to the goalie.

In the meantime, another teammate had begun performing chest compressions. When he got back on the ice and delivered the AED, a third teammate (also CPR trained on his job working on oil rigs) opened the AED and applied the pads for the diagnostic function of the AED. While the machine was searching for a heartbeat, Morgano was preparing the mouth guard in the event rescue breaths were needed.

Then, the AED literally spoke and said, “shock recommended …please step back.” They did. The light came on, he pushed it, and the goalie jumped as it shocked his heart back into a normal rhythm. His eyes opened, and he started coughing. He was ok. When the EMTs arrived from the West Hartford Fire Department, they commented on how unusual this outcome was. The goalie’s teammates were elated – he is alive today because several individuals there were trained and prepared.

As a principal of Walden’s EHS Division (formerly Turnkey Compliance Solutions), Morgano is a firm believer in practicing the advice they give our clients, whether at a client facility or on the ice rink. He had just renewed his CPR and first aid training, which was provided by another one of our employees. He also familiarized himself with the location of the AED at the rink. There was some luck, as a few teammates there had training in first aid and CPR as well.

Here’s what worked:

* Life-saving AED equipment was visible and functioning.

* Team members had training, so they knew what to do, when to do it, and how to stay calm throughout.

* Paramedics were contacted immediately and responded quickly.

At your facility, you won’t need to rely on luck if an employee experiences an emergency. With a defined emergency response plan, first aid equipment and a trained team, you can be ready for the worst-case scenario – and hopefully have a positive outcome.

Walden’s EHS Division can work with you to develop a plan and train your employees. It’s a service that is available to our clients today.

Having a plan works – we’ve seen it first-hand. Reach out to Walden for more information.

This story was also highlighted on we-ha.com: https://we-ha.com/quick-response-by-west-hartford-paramedic-and-community-members-saves-two-lives-this-week/

If you have any questions, please contact Walden’s EHS Division directly at mmorgano@walden-associates.com.