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A Toledo, Ohio man is being hailed a hero after he saved the life of a minor league basketball referee who collapsed from a heart attack during a game.
Basketball player Myles Copeland, who is also a firefighter, said he went into “firefighter mode” when he saw the referee collapse. He ran across the court and administered CPR for 10 minutes until paramedics arrived.
“The basketball game just didn’t matter anymore, it was about saving his life,” Copeland told “America’s Newsroom” Monday.
He said the referee was coherent and talking by the time he was on a stretcher.
Copeland stressed the importance of Americans being trained to administer CPR and recognize warning signs in case of emergency.
“A heart attack can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time,” he told hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino. “Knowing the right steps to be able to take before the paramedics get there could really save brain function and a life.”
The referee’s wife, a nurse who helped Copeland attend to her husband, thanked him with a hug when he returned to the court.
The referee reportedly had triple bypass surgery following his heart attack but is now resting.
“I’m very thankful I was there, and I’m sure he was thankful that I was there as well,” Copeland said. “It seemed that everyone was in a panic at the time I was there, but from all our training I was cool, calm and collected.”
After paramedics took the referee, Copeland said he returned to the court and his team won the game.