One hockey goalie is being hailed a hero after he flew out of the dressing room to make an unexpected save. Patrick O’Brien, the 26-year-old goalie, was getting ready to play for the amateur Gander Flyers team at the Gander Community Centre, in Newfoundland, when he was informed a fan had collapsed in the stands. O’Brien did not hesitate and rushed into the stands, still wearing his ice skates, and began giving the fan chest compressions.
Fortunately for the fan, who suffered from cardiac arrest while in the stands, O’Brien had recently became qualified as a paramedic, says the Gander Beacon. Part of that training was designed to ensure he could handle situations such as this. When the goalie was notified of the fan’s collapse, he ran into the stands and found the man had no pulse. He immediately began chest compressions and continued them until emergency workers arrived with defibrillators.
The New York Daily News reports that O’Brien played down the incident an his hero status, saying he’d had “lots of help” from two other former paramedics who also rushed to the scene.
“Anyone would have done what I did. There was lots of help. It wasn’t just me. Anyone would have done what I did. I guess it’s just where it was at the rink and I had some of my gear on. But it’s what I do. It happens with some level of regularity (while on duty).”
The man who was saved by the fast-acting goalie was given two electrical shocks by emergency crew to restart his heart, after the goalie had successful performed chest compressions until their arrival. The man was then taken to James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre, where he is said to be in stable condition following the ordeal.
The Beacon notes that though O’Brien only played 23-minutes in the whole game, he was still the talk of the rink. O’Brien notes that the incident also, surprisingly, helped calm down his nerves because he was doing something that he does for a living and hadn’t played hockey in a while.
“I suppose it might have been easier for me to get ready for the game [after giving CPR], given what I do for a living [paramedic]. I was probably more nervous because I hadn’t played [hockey] in a while.”
Another group of Canadian fans also made headlines after they stepped up to perform the United States National Anthem when microphones began to malfunction. The act was described as an example of why sportsmanship truly isn’t dead.
What do you think of the goalie’s quick-thinking actions? Is he a hero or just doing his job?