The Toledo, Ohio man was hailed as a hero after saving the life of a minor league basketball referee who collapsed with a heart attack during a game.
Basketball player Miles Copeland, also a firefighter, said he went into “firefighter mode” when he saw the referee crash. He ran across the court and performed CPR for 10 minutes until paramedics arrived.
“The game of basketball no longer matters, it’s about saving his life,” Copeland told the American Newsroom on Monday.
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He said the referee was consistent and talking by the time he was on the stretcher.
Copeland stressed the importance of training Americans to manage CPR and recognize warning signs in emergencies.
“Heart attack can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime,” he told hosts Bill Hammer and Dana Perino. “Knowing the right steps to take before paramedics get there can really save brain function and life.”
The referee’s wife, Copeland, the nurse who helped her husband attend, thanked him with a hug when he returned to court.
The referee reportedly had triple bypass surgery after suffering a heart attack, but is now resting.
“I’m so grateful he’re there and I’m sure he’s grateful to be there too,” Copeland said. “Everyone seemed to be panicking while I was there, but from our training I was cool, calm and gathered.”
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After taking over the paramedics referee, Copeland said he returned to the court and his team won the game.