Hockey player suffers cardiac arrest at Olympia in West Springfield

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The West Springfield Fire Department along with three off-duty firefighters worked together Thursday to save a player who suffered cardiac arrest during an ice hockey game.

According to West Springfield Fire Department spokesman Lt. Anthony Spear, crews were called to the ice hockey game at the Olympia Ice Center Thursday around 8:35 p.m. for a hockey player in cardiac arrest.

When crews arrived, Fire Lt. Scott Chapman saw a player on the ice surrounded by bystanders performing CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the person. The spectators happened to be three off-duty firefighters who immediately assisted the player on the ice.

Holyoke Fire Captain Kevin McDonnel, Agawam Firefighter Bob LaFrance and Westfield Firefighter Sean Major performed CPR on the player before crews arrived. The three firefighters helped West Springfield crews until the player was taken to a nearby hospital. The player is in stable condition and is expected to be fine.

Lt Spear added that the man had been taken to hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. Fortunately, passers-by had access to an automated external defibrillator or AED… which was used until the crews arrived. Figures show that an additional 1,700 lives are saved each year in the United States through the occasional use of AEDs.

Catherine J. Martinez