(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 I experienced first-hand during a recent hockey game, where a plan – and a team – came together to save the life of a friend and teammate.

During a recent hockey game, a few of my teammates and I noticed that our goalie was laying on the ice. At first, we thought he might be stretching or resting, but realized quickly something was wrong – he was in complete cardiac arrest. As I went to the front desk to alert the rink director to call 911, I 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 I got back on the ice and delivered the AED, a third teammate (also 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, I was preparing the mouth guard in the event rescue breaths were needed.

Then, the AED literally spoke to us and said, “shock recommended …please step back.” We did. The light came on, I pushed it, and our 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 about how unusual this outcome was. But we were elated – our teammate was alive today because we were trained and prepared.

As a principal of Turnkey Compliance Solutions, I am a firm believer in practicing the advice we give our clients, whether I’m at a client facility or on the ice rink. I had just renewed my CPR and first aid training provided by another one of our employees. I had also familiarized myself 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.

Turnkey Compliance Solutions 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 – I’ve seen it first-hand. Reach out to me 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 your specialist, or me directly at mmorgano@walden-associates.com.