Paramedic, Off-Duty Paramedics Revive Runner In Cardiac Arrest During Great Race

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A paramedic and two off-duty paramedics who were running in the Great Race revived another runner who went into cardiac arrest on the race course Saturday.

The incident took place around 10:15 a.m. near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Craig Street.

Police say the victim is a 53-year-old man from New Castle.

City of Pittsburgh EMS crew chief Mark Bonasso says he arrived on the scene on an EMS motorcycle equipped with a defibrillator to revive the victim. When he arrived, medical professionals who were on the scene were performing CPR. Additionally, two off-duty paramedics who had been running in the race stopped to assist.

The paramedics were able to get a pulse on the victim after using the defibrillator. He was then given further care in an ambulance and sent to UPMC Presbyterian. According to police, he is expected to survive.

“The system really worked,” Bonasso said. “It was a total system with bystander CPR, quick EMS arrival, early defibrillation and medical backup getting the person to UPMC Presbyterian hospital.”

Bonasso added the two off-duty paramedics accompanied the man to the hospital in the ambulance before finishing the race.

Paramedics say the EMS motorcycle played an important part in how quickly they were able to get to the victim on the race course.

“The motorcycles are pretty pivotal at an event like this,” paramedic John Leinhauser said. “They’re able to cut through crowds, large groups of people, against the flow of traffic. They were critical in responding in a very close amount of time.”

Police say there were no other major incidents during the Great Race.

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