A man participating in the annual Chilly Hilly collapsed while biking up one of the route’s namesake hills, but fast action by nearby riders trained in CPR, the Cascade Bicycle Club emergency communication system, Bainbridge Island first responders and Washington State Ferries all came together to save his life.
The man’s wife told Inside Bainbridge, “He is doing remarkably well and his spirits are good. We were very lucky that someone was nearby to start CPR immediately.”
Within 20 seconds of collapsing, two other Chilly Hilly riders — Patrick Rugh and Joe Kimzey — were administering CPR.
“These citizens absolutely made a difference in the outcome,” Bainbridge Island Fire Marshal Luke Carpenter told Inside Bainbridge. “Brain death occurs within 4 to 6 minutes. By administering CPR, they kept his blood pressure up and oxygen flowing to his brain, which is critical to prevent brain death.”
Radio operators for the ride were able to give first responders accurate location information, which helped medics arrive at the scene about six minutes after the call came.
After weather made an air evacuation impossible, Washington State Ferries agreed to hold a ferry so the man could be transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The man is conscious, though he has no memory of the incident. He wants to thank everyone who responded so quickly to help him.
Big thanks to everyone who took action to help. For everyone reading this, take it as a PSA about the importance of learning CPR. Classes are short and not very expensive. There’s a chance your workplace will even pay for it (ask around).
For more on the story, see Inside Bainbridge.