Watch: Bystanders honored who helped save a life at high school softball game

Pictured left to right are: Ashley Hebensperger, Fire Chief Dane Lausen, Supt. Dr. Mike Simpson, Dr. Bill Worden with Heartland Medical Direction, Officer Dustin Kopf, Dispatcher Toni Strader, and Jeff McCormick.

When someone suffers a serious medical event seconds matter. Ideally, that event would best happen in or near a medical facility and not a high school softball field. However, the softball field proved to be crucial with the help of bystanders and school equipment.

Just before the first pitch between Duncan and Guthrie, an elderly man became ill and collapsed near the concession stand. It was immediately known something serious was happening to the unresponsive man.

David Tucker, a Logan County deputy was at the field to watch his daughter play and immediately radioed to dispatch Guthrie EMS. Meanwhile, the left fielder’s mother, Ashley Hebensperger, a nurse practitioner at OU Medical Center, and the shortstop father’s, Jeff McCormick, and Guthrie Police Officer Dustin Kopf immediately jumped in to begin life-saving measures.

Along with CPR, the trio used an AED (automated external defibrillator) that was on-site provided by Guthrie Public Schools. Two shocks were able to be delivered in between compressions before firefighters arrived on the scene.

“These brave actions by these three individuals are beyond admirable and helped the chances of survival for the patient,” Fire Chief Dane Luasen said in an appreciation ceremony held inside the Guthrie Fire Department on Tuesday afternoon.

Once on the scene, firefighters took over the care and were able to establish an airway, deliver cardiac meds, shock the patient with a life pack, and transport them to an Edmond hospital.

Lausen recognized the “Red Crew” who responded that day, including Lt. Daniel Morton, Paramedic Sam Kohler, and Firefighters Brandon Walbeck and Jake Zserdin.

“These young men do incredible work, day in and day out, every shift. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Lausen said.

Ironically, as soon as the firefighters were recognized by the Chief, they were toned out to a grass fire and were forced to miss the remaining portion of the ceremony.

Lausen also acknowledged dispatcher Toni Strader. “Our dispatch is our lifeline to our everyday operations. They deserve just as much credit as everyone in this room today,” Lausen said.

Medical Director Dr. Bill Worden with Heartland Medical Direction said early access saves lives with CPR.

“This exact same event could have happened somewhere else, and we wouldn’t be sitting here today, but because of the early access to training bystanders who need CPR, an AED from the school, and the actions of the fire department a life was saved,” Worden said.

GPS Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson echoed the words of Dr. Worden.

“If you haven’t trained, you can’t perform under pressure. That’s why we stress training with our staff. When you are under the kind of pressure that a first responder is and it’s not your job every day that’s a different kind of pressure that no one can truly appreciate until you’ve been there.”

Simpson added, “The life that was saved is a grandfather of our students, a father of our staff members, and a person that we are glad is still with us. And it is because of the training, dedication, and people working together.”

Each person recognized received a challenge coin from the fire department as well as Heartland Medical Direction.

The patient, whose family was in attendance, continues to improve but remains in the hospital receiving ongoing treatment.


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