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Seven “life-savers” are recognized at City Council meeting

Mayor Roth Speaking at Anniversary Celebration
Those honored were, from left: Lt. Matthew Samhat and Firefighter Aaron O’Donnell, both of the Northville Fire Dept.; Jeffrey Potter and Holly Leverton, of the Community EMS crew; Ryan Figueroa, who performed CPR; (happy survivor Charles Gevirtz and his fiancé Victoria Volyanyuk) and Northville Police Officers Matt Duggins and Ken DeLano.
Family members, friends and other supporters streamed into the City Council meeting on Sept. 18 to honor the life-saving efforts of those who helped revive Charles Gevirtz. Mayor Ken Roth presented seven rescuers with a City of Northville Life Saving Award. Gevirtz thanked everyone and said he “would not be standing here today” if it weren’t for their quick response.

The life-saving event occurred on July 13, 2017. Gevirtz was getting his hair cut at Scores Haircuts for Men in Northville when he suddenly slumped in the barber chair in cardiac arrest. The stylist called out, “Does anyone know CPR?” None of the patrons inside the shop knew. In walked Ryan Figueroa, 17, of Novi, wearing his lifeguard uniform. He had an appointment for a haircut. He did not hesitate to start CPR on the 55-year-old man who had been moved to the floor.

A jogger running past Scores looked in the window and saw the commotion inside. He veered inside to help. As it turned out, he was a physician and told Figueroa he was doing CPR correctly.

A 911 call had been made, noting “Possible heart attack.” Officer Ken DeLano was only a block away in his squad car with Officer Matt Duggins. They responded within minutes. The Northville Community Fire Department Station 1 and Community EMS arrived soon after.

As Duggins took over CPR, he checked for a pulse and found none. DeLano opened the police department’s AED unit and applied sensors to Gevirtz’s chest. The unit audibly stated, “Shock advised.”

DeLano told the group crowded around the fallen man to “Stand back” and pushed the button that would deliver the electrical charge to the man’s quivering 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.”

“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,” DeLano said.

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 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 Ryan’s efforts for having received CPR training as a lifeguard and having the presence of mind to apply his skills and save my life. Other members of the rescue team were Lieutenant Matthew Samhat and Firefighter Aaron O’Donnell of the Northville Fire Dept., and Jeffrey Potter and Holly Leverton, of the Community EMS crew.

Northville Fire Department Chief Steve Ott said, “The police, fire and community EMS 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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