MEDFORD - An off-duty Hamilton firefighter is being hailed a hero, after going above the call of duty to save the life of a fellow soccer player on Sunday, September 17 at Medford High School.
Firefighter Dane Jorgensen saved a man's life at what should have been an ordinary "New England Over-the-Hill" soccer league game.
"That was pretty amazing to see the life come back. That will stay with me for a long time," said Jorgensen.
Twenty minutes into the Wenham versus Kendall Wanderers game, the Kendall player collapsed on the field. He was suffering cardiac arrest.
"When we got to him, he was still talking for a few seconds, he said he was woozy and then he was out, he was just out, it just really hits you pretty hard," said Johnny Kilpatrick, the Kendall Wanderers manager.
But lucky several teams had automated external defibrillators or AEDs on hand.
"His vitals were dropping and so immediately we called 911 and got the AED ready because we could see which way it was going," said Jorgensen.
With one zap of the AED and CPR, the off-duty fire fighter and teammates brought him back to life.
"It was really strong teamwork by everybody, so I'm really glad I did what I was trained to do. I'm proud of that," said Jorgensen.
The reason all the teams in the club have AEDs was because of a tragedy 14 years ago.
The Kendall Wanderers were playing against Ucal McKenzie's team when he collapsed on the field and died.
Since then, the Ucal McKenzie Breakaway Foundation has been pushing for sports teams and public spaces to have AEDs.
"That defibrillator was bought in February of this year, and saved a life in September, that's how Amazing it is," said teammate Michael McCormack.
"AEDs are so critical, they saved our teammates life, and this will happen again somewhere," said Kilpatrick.
The American Heart Association says 9 in 10 cardiac arrest victims who get an AED shock in the first minute live and your chance of survival during a cardiac emergency goes down 10% every minute without CPR.
"We can't have enough of those right, that goes for schools and everywhere. I have one in my car always," said Jorgensen. "It's not just enough to have them but it's also to know where they are."
Everyone won that morning because a player went home to their family.
"It really brought us together and so I feel like we're go to have this bond now that we were part of something like this," said Kilpatrick.
The soccer player who suffered the cardiac arrest is recovering hopes to come back and play next season.
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