Reference Desk Include

Northville Police use AED to revive man at barber shop

Police with AED
Officer Ken DeLano (left) shows a portable AED unit, along with Officer Matt Duggins. Both were part of a team that helped save the life of a Brighton man.
A special recognition ceremony to honor the life-saving efforts of those who helped revive Charles Gevirtz after he experienced cardiac arrest in mid-July will be held at the City Council meeting on Sept. 18, at 7 p.m.

Those being honored are City of Northville Police Officers Ken DeLano and Matt Duggins; Novi resident Ryan Figueroa; Lieutenant Matthew Samhat and Firefighter Aaron O’Donnell of the Northville Fire Dept.; and Jeffrey Potter and Holly Leverton, of the Community EMS crew.

The public is encouraged to attend to show their appreciation.

The heroic rescue of Gevirtz, 55, of Brighton, involved fast action by a teenage lifeguard, two Northville police officers, and a firefighter rescue-EMS team.

Gevirtz went into cardiac arrest while getting his hair cut at Scores Haircuts for Men in Northville. Patrons positioned him on the floor and his hair stylist asked if anyone knew CPR. In walked Figueroa, 17, who had come for a haircut. He said he knew CPR and began the process of trying to revive the man.

A physician jogging past Scores looked in the window and saw the commotion inside. He went inside to help and saw that Figueroa was doing CPR correctly, and encouraged him to continue.

Meanwhile, 911 had been called, noting “Possible heart attack.” Officer DeLano was only a block away in his squad car and responded within minutes. He was soon joined by Officer Duggins. The Northville City Fire Department Station 1 and Community EMS also responded quickly.

As Duggins took over CPR, he checked for a pulse and found none. DeLano opened the police department’s AED (automatic external defibrillator) unit and applied the electrodes to Gevirtz’s chest. The unit detected that his heart was quivering (a state known as fibrillation) and needed an external shock to restore the heartbeat. The unit audibly stated, “Shock advised.”

DeLano told the group gathered around to stand back. He then pushed the button that would deliver the electrical charge to the man’s heart.

“It was like in the movies,” DeLano said. “He was unconscious on the floor then his eyelids started to flutter and moments later he sat up. He then stood up and was able to sit down on the gurney on his own.”

DeLano added, “I believe the quick response of Ryan conducting immediate CPR without hesitation and the quick deployment of the AEDs which we had in our patrol cars saved his life.”
Duggins concurred, saying, “We are fortunate to work in a city that has AEDs – not every police department has them.”

The officers had used AEDs before on people without a pulse, but this was the first time the device audibly stated, “Shock advised” and it saved a life.

Northville Police Chief Mike Carlson said, “The device worked just as intended. When we encounter a person having a heart attack, our police officers have just what they need – an AED on board their vehicles – to save a life within minutes. This is the first example of that.”

In an email sent to the City, Gevirtz noted, “Officer (DeLano) called me to see how I was doing. This shows the incredible concern that the public employees of Northville have towards their fellow citizens. Because of the extremely rapid response time of everyone involved and the great employees of Northville, I have not had any cognitive impairment. I cannot stress enough, the teamwork, reaction times, professionalism, and competence that the Northville employees demonstrated.”

He also applauded the efforts of Figueroa for “having the presence of mind to apply his skills and save my life.”

Northville Fire Department Chief Steve Ott said, “The police, fire and Community EMS crews provided a three-tier response. All of those links were working in the chain of survival. There were good Samaritans on the scene. And we had an AED.”



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