MILFORD — A 35-year-old man is alive today because two bystanders acted quickly after he went into cardiac arrest at a restaurant, a fire official said Friday.
Fire Capt. Chris Zak said the man was eating lunch Feb. 19 at Red Robin Restaurant inside the Westfield Connecticut Post mall when he went into cardiac arrest.
Fortunately for the victim, several people played a critical role in ensuring he was resuscitated.
The rescue began when Red Robin manager Curtis Kilburn quickly notified 911 and called mall security, Zak said.
Then two bystanders, who had emergency response training, quickly began cardiopulmonary resuscitation because the man was not breathing, and had no pulse, Zak said.
Jeanne DeMello, a nurse, and Mark Kipstein, an off-duty New York City firefighter, did the CPR.
Mall security personnel arrived with an automatic external defibrillator and hooked up the patient to the machine within minutes of his collapse, Zak said.
Mall security personnel Brian Carson and Michael Todd used the defibrillator to shock the man’s heart back into normal rhythm, Zak said.
Within four minutes of the initial 911 call, Fire Department paramedics were providing advanced life support to stabilize the man’s heart rhythm, Zak said.
The man was then taken to Milford Hospital by American Medical Response ambulance, with paramedics assisting.
“It is only because of the quick thinking of some trained individuals that this person is now alive,” Zak said.
He noted the city was recently a designated a HEARTSafe community by the state Department of Public Health.
The distinction means more than 60 city employees and residents are trained on how to use an automated external defibrillator.
There are 20 defibrillators in public facilities, including City Hall, Milford Library, Parsons Government Center, and the schools.
Fire Chief Louis LaVecchia has said if a defibrillator is applied within the first minute of a person having a cardiac episode the survival rate is 90 percent.
“This type of action and response shows that lives can be saved when all the factors are in place and performed in a timely fashion. It is only because of the actions of all the individuals mentioned that this male patient is alive today,” Zak said.