Dublin Community Recreation Center manager Hillary Kessler said her staff's quick response to a man found unconscious Dec. 28 left her with an adrenaline rush and an appreciation for emergency-response training the city had provided.
Kessler and other members of the rec-center staff were recognized at the Feb. 10 Dublin City Council meeting for their life-saving efforts when patron Tom Shelley collapsed Dec. 28.
Shelley declined a ThisWeek Dublin Villager request for an interview, but during the Feb. 10 meeting, he spoke of his appreciation for the actions of the staff.
"Everytime I hear this story, it just takes me a little bit back," he said, thanking staff for their responsiveness and quick-thinking.
"I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for that," he said.
Kessler, who has a part-time position at the center, was serving as manager on duty that morning when one of the rec center's fitness attendants communicated via radio that someone had fallen off a treadmill and was unconscious.
Kessler said she and others found Shelley crumpled between two elliptical machines, with patrons trying to help him.
She and the staff members moved the elliptical machines to gain better access to Shelley, Kessler said, and found he had a very faint pulse.
"It was kind of like in and out," she said. "His breathing was pretty irregular."
Shelley had stopped breathing, and the staff members hooked up an automated external defibrillator for assessment, Kessler said.
They administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation to provide oxygen to prevent brain and organ damage, she said.
Shelley was taken via ambulance to Dublin Methodist Hospital, at that time fully conscious, Kessler said.
She said she learned medics and emergency-room staff were surprised he did not have brain damage.
Sometimes, when rescue breathing and CPR are done, it's too late to prevent damage, Kessler said.
She said she was excited she and her staff had acted quickly and were able to provide their training to help Shelley.
Most rec-center staff members are certified in such emergency-response training as CPR, first aid, AED administration and oxygen administration, said Matt Earman, Dublin's director of parks and recreation services.
The staff members took swift action to initiate the EMS response, assess his condition, begin rescue breathing, apply AED equipment, apply a defibrillation shock, perform CPR, apply a second shock and care for Shelley until Washington Township Fire Department personnel arrived, Earman said.
Earman told council members Feb. 10 that just a few hours after Shelley was transported to the hospital, city officials received word he was in stable condition.