NORWOOD — Chief David Hayes and EMS Coordinator Kevin Morrissey are pleased to share that two community members were recognized this week for their roles saving the life of a man who went into cardiac arrest at a local CrossFit gym.
Rescuers Paula Verderber and Scott Leverenz, and patient Chris Dull were at CrossFit Prosperity in Norwood on Wednesday morning for the award presentation.
The group and CrossFit Prosperity were presented with the American Heart Association Heartsaver Hero award in recognition of advancing the mission of the American Heart Association and Emergency Cardiovascular Care through a courageous act in an effort to save a life.
On June 28, Dull collapsed before a class at CrossFit Prosperity began. Verderber and Leverenz, who also were preparing for the class, sprang into action and began performing CPR on Dull, who was unresponsive and did not have a pulse. They also used one of the facility’s automated external defibrillators (AED) and were able to revive Dull before paramedics arrived.
“Never in my whole career of nursing have I seen a patient come back so quickly,” said Verderber, who has been a nurse for 22 years.
Leverenz also described figuring out in the moment how to use the AED, saying, “I’ve never used one before. So to grab it in the moment and in 30 seconds figure out how to put it on his chest, then take a look at a few images, and have the machine tell me what to do was pretty impressive.”
He added, “It’s an amazing tool and resource, and in that moment to be able to figure it out and save a life felt pretty cool.”
Chief Hayes recognized Verderber and Leverenz for their courage to act, saying: “The EMS system starts with the people in the area. We arrived three to four minutes after the call, but this 30-second window made all the difference. Early application of the AED and the treatment these citizens gave the patient clearly saved his life.”
EMS Coordinator Morrissey also credited Verderber and Leverenz for their quick thinking, prompt intervention and performance under pressure, and presented the group with the Heartsaver Hero award certificate.
Dull thanked both Verderber and Leverenz. “I can’t thank these two enough, I don’t know where to start,” Dull said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be standing here right now.”