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Palatine Fire Department Honors First Responders Tim Kirby, Linda Kleiss, and Neil Wywialowski for Saving a Life with CPR/AED at Midtown Athletic Club

Sat January 01 2011 9:54 am
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WGNTV Report: Palatine Fire Department Fire Chief Bob Falardeau and others honored Midtown Athletic Club members Tim Kirby and Linda Kleiss and Fitness Director Neil Wywialowski Thursday, December 30, 2010 after they were instrumental in following AED/CPR procedure to save the life of a fellow athletic club member who suffered cardiac arrest.

Midtown Athletic Club staff and members responded to an emergency exactly the way they are supposed to respond one early morning last November.

On November 1, 2010 about 6:20 a.m. Steve Holland, 68, of Long Grove was cooling down on a treadmill at Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine after running one mile at the fitness center’s indoor track. He collapsed on the treadmill with cardiac arrest. Tim Kirby and Linda Kleiss witnessed Holland’s collapse and his fall off of the treadmill. They responded to help him with CPR and make sure 9-1-1 was called. Fitness Director Neil Wywialowski, who was leading a Kinesis group exercise class nearby, responded with an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and applied the AED sensors that recognized a fatal heart rhythm. The AED recommended an “immediate shock now” to Holland’s heart. Wywialowski pressed a manual button that administered the shock that restored an effective heart rhythm for the stricken exerciser.

Meanwhile, Northwest Central Dispatch 9-1-1 Center was given updates and details about the incident. Palatine Fire Department firefighter/paramedics requested an extra fire engine company to respond to the scene. A Palatine Fire Department battalion chief and police officer also responded to help manage the scene and facilitate transportation of their patient to Northwest Community Hospital.

The CPR/AED training was carried out with excellent task performance. Not only did staff and members act exactly in the manner that is recommended, but staff also provided precise details to Palatine Fire Department via the 9-1-1 center, who updated dedicated firefighter/paramedics as they were responding to the call. Responding paramedics and police were given precise details of the location and situation of the rescue call, so that extra rescuers that support the providers of Advanced Life Support were sent immediately. The firefighter/paramedics’ awareness of the scene was also enhanced before they arrived. A cardiac arrest emergency requires more paramedics than a sprained ankle, for example. The extra confirmation and communications from the scene was beneficial. This incident is an example of perfect teamwork for all involved.

Two weeks after the incident, Steve Holland received a heart valve replacement at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Two months later he is back working out at Midtown Athletic Club.

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