Saturday saw heroic efforts by two of Gulfport’s firefighters during the Jim West Prostate Foundation 8K in Gulfport.
A 53-year-old man, unnamed to protect his privacy, came from Missouri with his wife and son over the weekend to participate in the race. As he approached the finish line, he collapsed with full cardiac arrest, said Gulfport Fire Chief James Marenkovic.
“The man collapsed with a massive [myocardial infarction] and was clinically dead for two to three minutes,” Marenkovic said. “Fortunately, special rescue happened to be right behind him and was on scene within minute’s time.”
According to Marenkovic, firefighter/paramedic Matthew Steindl and firefighter/EMT Brian Campbell were manning the special rescue team that was dispatched to the event in case of emergency. The two were patrolling the event and following the runners in the special rescue vehicle equipped with ambulance medical equipment.
“Any one of us could have done it,” Steindl said. “We are all over trained. Pinellas County has some of the best EMTs.”
The two firefighters approached the scene in the special rescue vehicle and performed CPR and revived the man’s heartbeat with a defibrillator before he was transported to Bayfront Hospital.
According to Marenkovic, the man is making a full recovery.
“The outcome is astonishing well,” Marenkovic said. “He went from being clinically dead to sitting up and responding and is expected to make a full recovery. Everything worked out well. He will survived thanks to what those two firefighters did.”