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Ohio firefighter aids collapsed referee during basketball game

“He didn’t have a pulse, he wasn’t breathing so I instantly started CPR — what I was trained to do,” said Toledo Fire & Rescue Firefighter Myles Copeland


Photo/Toledo Fire& Rescue

By Leila Merrill

TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo Firefighter Myles Copeland was in the middle of a basketball game Saturday night when he quickly responded to a referee who collapsed.

The Glass City Basketball Club, which he plays in, was playing a game in New York.

David Magley, president of the basketball league, recounted the incident to 13ABC.

“He was leaving us, he was changing colors, his breathing was just about out,” said Magley. “Then Myles comes sprinting off the court and he starts pumping on his chest, and I’m looking up thinking who’s this guy, where’d he come from? And then I noticed he had a uniform on and I realized this was one of our players. Myles said, ‘It’s okay, I’m a fireman.’”

Copeland reportedly worked on the referee for over 10 minutes.

“I assessed the situation, trying to see what I could do to fix the problem,” said Copeland. “He didn’t have a pulse, he wasn’t breathing so I instantly started CPR — what I was trained to do.”

Copeland asked for a defibrillator, and two shocks were applied before EMS providers arrived and transported the game official, NBC24 reported.

The referee’s wife said that he was stable and likely to make a full recovery.

The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department and Magley say they are proud of Copeland.

”Firefighters are trained to save lives on and off duty, and that’s exactly what one Toledo firefighter did when he was in the middle of a basketball game,” the department posted on Facebook.

“He was calm, he’s everything that’s good about our players, he’s everything that’s good about society,” said Magley.

“It’s a common emergency and everyone should at least know their way around CPR, it can happen to anyone,” said Copeland.

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