(Originally published in King Weekly Sentinel)
A Nobleton man has a very big reason to enjoy the holidays this year – he’s alive! Earl Keen, 56, suffered cardiac arrest during a hockey game at the Nobleton Arena on Dec. 8. He’s alive thanks to the quick actions of his teammates and a MIKEY (a public automated external defibrillator- AED).
“I’m alive, and that’s a good thing,” Keen said from his hospital bed. “The defibrillator saved my life.”
In perfect health, Keen suffered the incident after getting off the ice and resting on the bench. He said his heart didn’t settle down after his shift and he passed out. His teammates rallied around and everyone pitched in to save him.
They used the defibrillator, which also automatically calls EMS. Andre Delmas was next to Keen and he cried out for someone to call 9-1-1 and his brothers Ron and Brett ran to get the AED in the lobby. Ron said as soon as the AED made contact, it analyzed Keen’s condition and shocked him. It later said a second shock was not required. This all happened in under five minutes.
Ray Martin later said it was a combination of quick thinking, the AED, and cool heads, that saved the day.
The AED units are extremely easy to use, something that’s important when every second counts.
Jim Wall, King’s fire chief, praised Keen’s teammates who administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and used the AED located in the lobby. “It just goes to show you that someone with absolutely no training on one of these units can use them to save a life,” Wall said.
David Boyd, Nobleton’s ward councillor and a firefighter himself, said the unit was placed in the arena about 14 years ago and this was the first time it had ever been used.
“It’s amazing that it has been sitting on the wall that long just waiting to be used,” he said, noting most AEDs will never be used. “However, they’re worth every cent when you do need them.” Boyd added all the right ingredients came together for a positive outcome in this situation. A facility with an AED is likely the safest place to be during an emergency.
Chief Wall and Boyd were both involved in getting AED units placed in many public places around the township earlier this year. The initial funding to get units in local arenas was provided by The Mikey Network.
Read the full article in the King Weekly Sentinel.