TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

EMT recognized for life-saving effort in Penn Hills

About Craig Smith
Picture Craig Smith 412-380-5646
Staff Reporter
Tribune-Review


By Craig Smith

Published: Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Nick Gerstel had just finished Christmas dinner at his father's Penn Hills home when the radio his dad uses as a volunteer firefighter sounded.

“We heard the call go out,” said Gerstel, 29, a firefighter and EMT in South Strabane. A 62-year-old man in the neighborhood had collapsed after going into cardiac arrest.

The Rosedale Volunteer Fire Department, where his father, Jeff Gerstel, is assistant chief, dispatched a response unit. It was six blocks away.

Nick Gerstel started running. He was only two streets from the home of Roland “Mike” Dulaney and aided in administering CPR. He also called the fire station to say the patient needed an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED.

Meanwhile, neighbor Andrea Huzinec, who is a nurse, went to Dulaney's home and performed CPR until firefighters arrived.

With that and the AED, Dulaney's heart soon was beating and he was breathing on his own.

“Having them there with the AED was key,” the younger Gerstel said.

He and others who aided in saving Dulaney were recognized Sunday by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, headquartered in Wexford.

More than 350,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest each year and nine out of 10 them die, the foundation said.

Sandy Dulaney knows her husband could have been one of the victims.

“When the ambulance took him to the hospital ... the doctors all said he was very fortunate,” she said. “We're well aware of that.”

The ceremony at the Rosedale Fire Department brought together the two men who met only briefly after Dulaney was released from the hospital.

“It's very rewarding,” Gerstel said. “We've been sent to other cardiac arrests and never had one turn out as positive as this.”

“The average survival rate of cardiac arrests is 10 percent,” said Mary Newman, president of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. “But when people get treated quickly, it's closer to 40 percent.”

The foundation works to raise awareness about prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest and to support programs that give ordinary people the power to save a life.

The AEDs, once relegated to use by firefighters and rescue crews, now are routinely placed in churches, schools and businesses. They cost between $1,500 and $2,500.

“These devices can be used by anyone, and they make a difference between life and death,” Newman said.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or csmith@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Former PPG executive indicted in fatal NH crash
  2. Wilkinsburg woman, 24, dies in crash
  3. Democrats consider Pittsburgh for 2016 national convention
  4. Wuerl tells faithful all Catholics are responsible for schools
  5. 4-car crash near Fox Chapel snarls Route 28 traffic
  6. Proposal to drill in West Deer and Frazer draws comments from both sides
  7. Post 9/11 veterans lend skills to community leadership course
  8. Landmark former school in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to incubate startups
  9. Fitzgerald wants Allegheny County to issue $247M in bonds
  10. Trial begins in Steelers stabbing
  11. Film tax credits bill would bump up state budget
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.