With the final seconds winding down Tuesday night in a St. Cloud Middle School girls’ basketball game, the team’s head coach suddenly collapsed on the court. Bystanders and school staff rushed to assist her, along with St. Cloud Police Officer and School Resource Officer Stephen Burrows, which likely saved the coach’s life.

Officer Burrows and a physician’s assistant in attendance for the game both verified the coach did not have a pulse, and compressions were started. Officer Burrows alertly requested an automated external defibrillator, or AED.

Thankfully, a student trainer knew where one was in the gym and brought it to SRO Burrows. The AED was quickly deployed, pads were attached, and a shock was given. The coach eventually responded to CPR and regained consciousness. Crews from St. Cloud Fire Rescue Department’s Engine 31 and Rescue 34 arrived at the school and took over medical care. The coach was alert and oriented as she was transported by Rescue 34 to an area hospital for further treatment.

“Quick action tonight by our SRO absolutely helped to resuscitate the coach and give her a fighting chance for recovery,” said St. Cloud Police Chief Douglas Goerke. “I commend Officer Burrows for a job well done and offer my well wishes to the coach for a full and speedy return to health.”  

While widely available in public facilities and in the workplace, the amount of people who are aware of the location of an AED and trained in how to use it is somewhat low, despite the staggering benefits of AEDs. According to the American Heart Association, 9 in 10 cardiac arrest victims who receive a shock from an AED in the first minute live. They go on to state that the chances for survival while waiting for emergency medical services during a cardiac emergency decrease by 10% every minute without CPR.

The St. Cloud Police Department and St. Cloud Fire Rescue Department urge all residents to become familiar with CPR methods and how to deploy an AED. AED training is available through the American Heart Association at https://cpr.heart.org/en/training-programs/aed-implementation and the Red Cross at https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/aed/aed-training. Local CPR familiarity courses are available through the St. Cloud Fire Rescue Department, call 407-957-8480 to schedule.

SOURCE: City of St. Cloud Public Information Office