Bystanders Act Quickly In Effort to Save Man
An unidentified man collapsed on a downtown Southern Pines sidewalk Tuesday, the victim of an apparent heart attack.
The sidewalks were busy with people out Christmas shopping, and a crowd soon gathered around the man, who was turning blue, in front of the Episcopal Thrift Shop on Northeast Broad Street. It happened about 3 p.m.
Andy Austin, a former emergency medical technician and manager of That's a Deli, began giving the man cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). He worked on the man for about 15 minutes, getting him to take a few breaths on his own, but not feeling a pulse.
Someone in the crowd mentioned that The Pilot had an automated external defibrillator (AED). Anthony Parks, owner of The Ice Cream Parlor, ran to get it.
"People really rallied around," Parks said.
On his way to The Pilot, Parks figured there was probably one at the town administration offices (about a half block closer than The Pilot). He ran in, and one of the employees handed him an AED.
Parks ran it back to the scene, and Austin used it on the man a couple of times. Paramedics arrived about that time and took the man to the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
"The thing could have very well saved his life," Parks said.
No one was able to get the man's name before the ambulance left, and FirstHealth is unable by law to release information without a patient's name. The Pilot was unable to reach anyone with the county Emergency Medical Services office.
Those who helped were unable to find out if the man survived. It didn't look good, Austin said.
"Hopefully, he made it," he said. "We gave it a good shot. He had a hell of a lot better chance with the AED here."
Austin said that defibrillators should be much more common in downtown. Following the incident, Parks said he is buying one for The Ice Cream Parlor.
"If we'd have gotten to one faster, maybe he would have had a better chance," Austin said. "There should be three to four on each side of the tracks."
Those interested in acquiring an AED can contact the American Red Cross at 692-8571.
Contact Matthew Moriarty at 693-2479 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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