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Man who had heart attack during Chilly Hilly doing well, quick action by riders may have saved his life

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 12.39.52 PMAs though you needed another reason to get certified in CPR, here’s a big one.

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.”

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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.

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10 responses to “Man who had heart attack during Chilly Hilly doing well, quick action by riders may have saved his life”

  1. merlin

    Good work, neighbors!

  2. Jeremy

    I was one of those people who walked by as the medics were working on him and since then he’s been on my mind quite often. I’m quite relieved to hear that he’s doing well!

    With that said, I’m quite disappointed with the blatant disrespect for emergency vehicles that some participants displayed. It doesn’t matter how much you’re huffing to get up that hill or that you’ll lose your momentum if you stop–when an emergency vehicle is behind you with sirens blaring, pull over immediately and stop.

  3. pqbuffington

    Patrick Rugh & Joe Kimzey FTW!

    And, yes on CPR training and regular check-ups!

  4. Ashley

    So happy to hear an update! I’ve been searching for an update since the ride ended.

    My fiancé reached the top seconds after he collapsed, and when I saw him off his bike I knew something bad had happened. We felt so helpless, but were relieved that people were there who could get him breathing again (albeit very slowly) and keep him alive until the ambulances arrived. Definitely made me want to take a CPR class.

  5. TVDinner

    I rode STP with this man, and I cannot express my relief that he’s going to pull through. He’s an exceptional human being in a million different ways. The world is better off that he’s here.

  6. Dave

    I am alive now because of the Seattle area’s U of W affiliated heart units in hospitals. I suffered an attack almost a year ago while spending the night in a downtown hotel. My wife recognized the symptoms–she’s a health care professional–called 911, and I was very well cared for at Harborview over the next couple of days. I don’t wish it on anyone, but if it has to happen, let it happen in your area!

  7. Richard

    Glad he’s OK. Hope he can continue to ride.

  8. KJK

    TVDINNER had it right! A wonderful and generous human being and father lives on thanks to the knowledge, action, and kindness of strangers. Thank you!

  9. filibuster

    Can’t hurt that Patrick’s an experienced paramedic! Glad to hear things are well.

  10. […] Bainbridge Island Fire Department honored four people for their swift, life-saving action to help a man who had a heart attack after summiting a big Bainbridge Island hill during this […]

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