Share This Page

EMT recognized for life-saving effort in Penn Hills

| Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, 12:03 a.m.
Roland 'Mike' Dulaney is surrounded by his daughter Michele Johnston, wife Sandy, and their neighbor Andrea Huzinec, who is also a nurse, at a Rescuer Recognition Ceremony in Penn Hills Sunday, February 24 2013. On Christmas Day Mike, 62, collapsed. Andrea provided CPR until the Rosedale Volunteer Fire Department arrived with a defibrillator and the actions of all saved his life. Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Roland 'Mike' Dulaney hugs his neighbor Andrea Huzinec at a Rescuer Recognition Ceremony in Penn Hills Sunday, February 24 2013. On Christmas Day the 62-year-old collapsed. Andrea provided CPR until the Rosedale Volunteer Fire Department arrived with a defibrillator and the actions of all saved his life. Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review

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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.